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Solskjaer offers old friend Scholes invite after Oldham departure

The Manchester United caretaker manager has been texting his former team-mate after a short-lived managerial spell at his boyhood club.

Scholes and Solskjaer during their time as Manchester United players.
Scholes and Solskjaer during their time as Manchester United players.
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER has invited Paul Scholes to come back to Manchester United if he wants any advice after leaving Oldham Athletic.

United midfield great Scholes resigned as manager of fourth tier English league side Oldham on Thursday after just 31 days in charge, having become frustrated by the extent of owner Abdallah Lemsagam’s interference.

Solskjaer, a team-mate at Old Trafford between 1996 and 2007, has said the former England midfielder is welcome to drop by at the club’s Carrington training ground any time he wants to talk.

“He’s probably got his reasons why he left. You would have to ask him about that,” said Solskjaer.

“He’s invited here if he wants to come and have a little chat about it.

“I’ve texted with him, of course. It didn’t work out as he wanted. That’s just management.”

BBC Sport are reporting that Scholes resigned by text earlier this week.

“I have been in Dubai over the last couple of weeks and was at ease knowing that he was in charge,” said Oldham owner Lemsagam.

I was very surprised as he simply resigned by text on Wednesday afternoon and has refused to discuss matters that influenced him to make his decision.

“Paul and I both agreed that there is potential but I reassured him that he had my full backing to rebuild the team of his choice next season.

“He did not raise any concerns at all about the team or any other matters informally or formally, prior to his resignation. He gave no opportunity or indications that he needed to address any issues at all.”

United suffered their first Premier League defeat under Solskjaer at Arsenal last weekend, and will look to recover when they visit Wolverhampton Wanderers in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup on Saturday.

Romelu Lukaku, United’s leading scorer, has been struggling with a sore foot this week, but Solskjaer is hopeful the Belgium striker will be fit for the trip to Molineux.

France forward Anthony Martial, who made his comeback from a groin injury as a substitute at Arsenal, is also in contention to start.

“Rom’s [Lukaku] had a sore foot this week, it’s being assessed, so hopefully he’ll get through today [Friday],” said Solskjaer.

“Phil Jones is back [from illness]. There have been so many players out.

“Anthony has been training well this week. So we’ve got a decision to make tomorrow as to who’s match fit.”

Arsenal v Manchester United - Premier League - Emirates Stadium Anthony Martial could start against Wolves. Source: John Walton

United are in contention for two trophies as they approach the final two months of the season, with a Champions League quarter-final to look forward to in April.

Former United manager Alex Ferguson always used to refer to the closing stages of the season as ‘squeaky bum time’, a colloquialism easily lost in translation, but which essentially meant it was a nervous spell for any team in contention for major trophies.

Ferguson’s sides, though, tended to be successful when the pressure was on, and Solskjaer wants the United team of 2019 to be similarly ruthless.

We’ve done well. We’ve given ourselves a great chance to be in the top four, possibly third, we’re in the quarter-finals, both in the FA Cup and Champions League.

“We’ve been on a good run and while it’s not ‘squeaky bum time’ like the gaffer used to say, it tightens up.

“April and May is always the time when at Manchester United, we start narrowing the focus. Now it’s about winning trophies and making use of the squad.”

© – AFP 2018

Bernard Jackman joins Murray Kinsella and Ryan Bailey on The42 Rugby Weekly as Ireland bid to spoil Wales’ Grand Slam party in Cardiff, and the U20s target their own piece of history.


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