Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists Manchester United vibrant attacking approach since he replaced Jose Mourinho is “the way Man United are supposed to play”.
The Norwegian has led the club to four straight wins since being appointed caretaker manager until the end of the season following Mourinho’s sacking, and the Red Devils have netted 14 goals along the way thanks to a more expressive style of play.
But Solskjaer, who played 366 times for the Red Devils alongside thrilling forwards such as Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke under Sir Alex Ferguson, says his players will continue to be asked to assert themselves on the pitch as he looks to thrill the fans in a way not seen under recent managers.
“Pace and power. Man United, that’s what we are! When you have players like we have with the pace of Paul [Pogba], Anthony [Martial], Alexis [Sanchez], Romelu [Lukaku], [Marcus] Rashford… that’s how we played with Andy, Yorkie, with Giggsy and Becks down the sides, you attack quickly when you can,” Solskjaer told reporters.
“And that’s my philosophy as well. If you look at my Molde team, in the years I’ve had them that’s always been how I like to play football: get the ball into their half as quick as you can, if you score fantastic, if not then you’ve got to have patient build-up play.
“No one had to tell me I had loads of talented players, I could see that from outside.
“We didn’t speak too much [with the board] about what’s been going on, to be honest. It was about what you can do to come back to the way we used to play, the way Man United are supposed to play.
“That’s exciting football, and I think we are looking a little bit like we want to see them.”
United host Championship strugglers Reading in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday, and Solskjaer has promised changes, including a recall for the returning Sanchez, from whom he is hoping to see improved performances in the weeks to come.
“He’s a quality player and he’ll get the chances to get the best out of himself,” he added of the Chilean. “Of course it’s up to them to get the performances. He’s done fantastic in training, he’s working really hard to get back to his fitness, he’ll get his chances and it’s up to him to take them.
“I’m sure that we will see a lot of Alexis because he is a quality player.”
Following Saturday’s cup fixture, United will head off for a warm-weather training camp in Dubai before their league clash with Tottenham at Wembley on January 13, and Solskjaer says it will be a good opportunity to increase fitness levels.
“We can get fitter and we have to do that through training sessions here, but Dubai is a good chance because that is the first time we get a week of work together. The ones who have not been in the squad, they’ll obviously work on their fitness.
“I still have pictures in my mind: every January, [Sir Alex] with a stopwatch and timing us on all them runs. And that stood us in good stead towards the end of the season, so it is a time too to really work hard. Even though we’ve got plenty of games, we need to work.”