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'Solskjaer has the best seat in the house' - Man Utd job now Norwegian's to lose, says Neville

08:08 GMT 24/01/2019
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 2018-19
The former Red Devils star believes a man handed the reins on an interim basis has made himself the leading contender to land a permanent contract

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has “the best seat in the house”, says Phil Neville, with the Manchester United job now his to lose as he remains “in charge of his own destiny”.

A Treble-winning hero from the Red Devils’ past was returned to Old Trafford in the wake of Jose Mourinho’s dismissal in December.

He was handed the managerial reins on an interim basis through to the end of the season, with Molde still expecting him back in their dugout once an initial agreement comes to a close.

Solskjaer has, however, made no secret of his desire to stay on if a permanent deal can be secured.

Neville sees no reason why an extended stay should not be sanctioned as the man currently at the helm has put himself in the strongest of positions with seven successive victories, despite ongoing talk of interest in the likes of Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino.

The former United star told Sky Sports: “It's got to be [decided on a game-by-game basis]. He's got the best seat in the house because he's in charge of his own destiny at this moment in time.

“They named him as interim manager and you've got to grab opportunities in life and Ole is the type that will do that. I remember when he was a player, Sir Alex [Ferguson] used to put him on for one or two minutes and he would score a goal because he always grabbed an opportunity.

“There are other managers out there that are being linked to this post, but probably no one has got the better seat at the moment than Ole. He knows the players, he knows the club, he knows how the club is working, which means that he's in pole position.

“The very first time I met him, he sat two places down from me in the dressing room, and you talked about the baby face at the time, but there was an inner determination and ruthlessness. You saw it in the way he played football that you knew he was going to be successful in his life.

“What he's done at Old Trafford has been great. He's a friend and you want your friends to do well. The fact that you see smiles back on the faces, not just the players but the supporters going to the stadium, means that as a Man Utd fan, that makes me happy.”

Nicky Butt added on the impact Solskjaer has made, with key men such as Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford having been rejuvenated under his guidance: “He's come in and Ole being Ole, he's brought a smile with him. He knows the club, which is massively important for me.

“What he has done is say to everyone 'go and enjoy playing for Man Utd, go and be the luckiest boys on the planet to be on the pitch'. He felt like that when he was a player and he's tried to introduce that to the players now, and it's worked.

“He's also got a little bit of a ruthless streak, I don't think he would be as successful as he is if you've not got that. He had a dream to become a football manager after his playing career, he worked hard at it and this opportunity has come and I know he is delighted to have that.

“I spoke to him on many occasions and I also know he's going to take hold of it with both hands and hold onto it for as long as he can and hopefully it will be a long, long time.”

Solskjaer’s next challenge as United boss is set to pitch him into FA Cup fourth-round competition with Premier League rivals and fellow top-four hopefuls Arsenal, with a trip to Emirates Stadium set to be made on Friday.