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'It's not like Football Manager!' - Solskjaer reflects on 'rollercoaster' start to life as Man Utd boss

4:54 AM GMT+8 10/05/2019
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Manchester United 2018-19
The Norwegian manager was brought on full-time after a brilliant spell as caretaker, but results have dropped off since he signed a permanent contract

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said that his spell at the helm at Old Trafford has been a rollercoaster. 

Solskjaer was initially hired on an interim basis to replace sacked Jose Mourinho but was made permanent head coach after a barnstorming start. 

United won 14 of the Norwegians first 17 games in charge and overturned a 2-0 deficit to PSG in the Champions League round of 16, winning 3-1 away in Paris to advance. 

They were dumped from the FA Cup by Wolves just before Solskjaer’s permanent appointment but won their first game after he signed a three-year contract on March 28, 2-1 against Watford

Since then United have won just once, and were knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona in the quarter-finals. 

Solskjaer addressed the ups and downs of his tenure on Thursday night. 

“It’s been a rollercoaster,” he told MUTV at the club’s end of season awards. 

“We had a fantastic start, everyone just enjoyed themselves. When you win games, you’re confident, you smile, you start to enjoy yourself. 

“Then we got a few injuries and it’s been ups and downs the last few months but that’s football, that’s human beings. 

“It’s not like Football Manager, you’ve got to deal with different stuff outside football. 

“There have been highs and lows but I’ve enjoyed it, it’s a great challenge. I’ve not gone to bed one night worrying about what’s going to happen because I love coming in, the boys are fantastic.” 

Solskjaer went on to discuss the recruitment policy at the club. 

Previous managers, including Mourinho, have been criticised for valuing star power over a cohesive strategy and the 46-year-old is planning a different approach, relying on young players. 

“It’s a great challenge [to oversee the rebuild] but it’s a great responsibility as well, because this club is huge. 

“The media and everyone’s criticizing us as soon as they’ve got a chance. We’ve just got to stick together. 

“We’ve been through difficult periods before but we’ve got to come through it as a team. We’ve got to do it together. 

“We’ve got to recruit smart, keep blooding the youngsters and we’ll be fine.”