News Live Scores
Manchester United

'How can I make these players winners?' - Solskjaer using spirit of Fergie and Treble to lift Man Utd

17:22 EAT 08/04/2019
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Man Utd 2019
The Old Trafford boss is instilling the characteristics of his former manager and team-mates to make his side a success ahead of their Barcelona clash

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is instilling the spirit of '99 in his Manchester United team - and he believes it can help him emulate his most famous victory.

The Norwegian is using the example of his Treble-winning former team-mates - and some of the methods of their leader Sir Alex Ferguson - to shape his current version of United.

He says what he has seen so far gives him the belief his team can pull off another shock, after coming back from the dead against Paris Saint-Germain in the last round, to fight their way past quarter-final opponents Barcelona and into the Champions League semi-finals.

"We challenged each other every day in training," Solskjaer told ESPN FC of his playing days at United. "There were fights and there was an inner justice that I've not seen in too many teams.

"We never, ever accepted anyone being below par in training. We kicked each other and we had to win every single day. That moved over into games and we never gave in. There was an unbelievable team spirit.

"I want my players to really push each other and demand 100 per cent attitude from each other every single day. That's the only way you can improve and it's the only way you can win. We had something special.

"It's a different group now and the challenge is 'how can I make these players winners as we were?'"

United go into the clash with Barca as huge underdogs and with local rivals Manchester City chasing glory on four fronts.

But Solskjaer says ensuring no other English club - least of all City - matches the famous 1999 Treble, a success capped by his Champions League final winner against Bayern Munich in Camp Nou, is not his motivation for success.

"United fans want us to win it because they want to win it," said the 46-year-old. "I think we should look at what we can achieve and not what we can stop others achieving.

"You've got to aim high. You cannot aim too low at this club. You've got to aim to win titles."

Solskjaer says his memories of Ferguson's reign are feeding his desire to do well as manager of United.

And he says he is not averse to adopting some of his mentor's more rough-edged tactics despite his own nice-guy demeanour.

"When I came back here as the manager I thought a lot about what makes a winning team," Solskjaer added. "What does it really take to win on the biggest stage? I'm not one to sit back, rest on my laurels and think: 'That was a great time' - it's more thinking about what did we do to get there.

"What did the manager tell us? What kind of master team talks did he have? When did he speak to us? All these little things.

"Sometimes you've got to go strong. You do it when you're disappointed, definitely.

"If your kids disappoint you, you have to tell them off. If you can see they're trying their utmost, they're trying their best, I don't think there's any reason why you should scream and shout.

"Sometimes you talk sensibly and sometimes you have to raise your voice.

"We're playing against a good team but there is something special about this group of players. It will be fantastic."

United host Barcelona in the first leg of the quarter-finals on Wednesday.