Gary Neville has explained that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have two main jobs to achieve during his six-month stint as Manchester United manager.
Manchester United appointed club legend Solksjaer as their caretaker manager earlier this week following the sacking of Jose Mourinho, despite the Norwegian having very limited experience in one of Europes biggest leagues.
However, Gary Neville – who has had plenty to say about the structure of his beloved club in recent months – thinks that the appointment of his former teammate will help to unite the team, as well as buys will help the club to ‘reset’ ahead of what will be a massive summer.
“Firstly it’s getting the club into the Champions League, that is ultimately what he has to try and do, and if they can get a trophy that would be amazing,” Neville told Sky Sports on Friday Night Football.
“But I think the bigger job is helping the club assess the players in the dressing room, those players, some of whom have hidden behind Jose Mourinho in the last 6-12 months. In the next six months when the excuses are gone, it’s about are they good enough and which are good enough to come on the journey with the new manager next season.
“That’s a big part of what Ole can do – feed into the board. It also allows the club time to reset.
“There are different ways to measure it [success]. On the pitch it’s Champions League but off the pitch making sure the club are set up ready for next season to be reset on and off the pitch.”
While Neville thinks that success on the pitch will give Solskjaer a chance of getting the job on a permanent basis, he expects there to be another new man at the helm at the start of next season.
“It was obvious they wanted a bridge to get the club to the end of the season, someone who could attach themselves to the players and the fans and the values of the club,” he added.
“The statement from the club this week was that they wanted to settle the place down and take the angst away from everybody. It has been an unhappy place for the last three months. That isn’t just the fault of Jose Mourinho, ultimately it’s been going wrong from the start of the season.
“Ole is so popular, he is probably one of the most popular players that have been at Manchester United in terms of what he achieved, the goal in ’99, he’s a gentleman and a good person and has immersed himself in coaching. When he finished playing he became a reserve team coach at United and wanted to learn the ropes.
“I think it’s a temporary appointment before they get the man they want for the long term.
“If he won the Champions League it’s inconceivable that he would be told to step down and I don’t think Manchester United would do that. But I don’t think Manchester United are good enough to win the Champions League.
“To get into the top four would be a fantastic achievement but I do think they have done this to get the man they want at the end of the season, who is obviously not available now.”
Solskjaer’s first task as Man Utd manager is to steer them to a victory this evening away at Cardiff City, the only club he has experience of managing in the Premier League.