Solskjaer laying groundwork for next season at Man Utd

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The Norwegian has been tipped to take the job on a permanent basis at the end of the season and is planning ahead no matter what happens

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he is preparing Manchester United for next season regardless of whether he stays beyond this campaign.

Solskjaer was appointed as Jose Mourinho's interim successor last month and has guided them to eight straight victories in all competitions so far.

The Norwegian's deal at Old Trafford runs until the end of the season, but he has been tipped by many to take over as the permanent boss before the club make a decision in the summer.

The 45-year-old has already handed Angel Gomes his first appearance of the season and a first-team debut to Tahith Chong, while other youngsters are also likely to get chances as he looks to the future no matter where his future lies.

"We have quite a few talents in that youth team that you'd like to see – and will see – at some point before next season to put the club and team in a good position at the end of the season," he told reporters.

"Mason [Greenwood], Jimmy Garner, Ethan [Laird], there's quite a few in that reserve team that are doing well, it's just about the right time. We've got players now; Alexis [Sanchez], Rom [Lukaku], Juan [Mata], who didn't play or haven't played so much lately, they're three players you've got to jump ahead of as well and we're here to get results as well.

"What Man United are going to look like next season with or without me, it doesn't really matter because I'm here now as part of that to prepare the team for next season. That, of course, means doing well now."

Academy graduate Jesse Lingard, who played under Solskjaer when he was in charge of the club's reserves, has been in good form lately, scoring in Friday's 3-1 FA Cup win over Arsenal to take his goal tally to five in all competitions this season.

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And Solskjaer says he and Marcus Rashford have been good influences on the likes of Mason Greenwood and Chong as they look to make the step up to the first team.

"Jesse's got energy, he's got a steel about him," Solskjaer added. "He can play in different positions, he can play in the midfield three, he can play off the front, either side and he knows this club and sometimes in training you see him and Marcus linking up sometimes with Mason sometimes with Chongy, he young kids, it's lovely to watch. I'm so pleased for him.

"When he made his debut against Burnley in the reserves he was a tiny little kid, who just missed out on the youth team, they played in the Youth Cup the day before so that's why he played for me. So, his development has been fantastic."

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