- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been speaking ahead of United’s clash with Tottenham
- The Spurs boss has been heavily linked with the permanent role at Old Trafford
- Solskjaer admits that Mauricio Pochettino has impressed in his current role
- Meanwhile, Paul Pogba is fit and ready to start Sunday’s clash at Wembley
- Defender Marcos Rojo has returned home to Argentina to continue his rehab
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer accepts ‘there is a reason’ why Mauricio Pochettino is being linked with the Manchester United job next summer as he prepares to take on the Tottenham boss at Wembley on Sunday.
While caretaker manager Solskjaer wants to convince the Old Trafford hierarchy to hand him the role permanently after five straight wins in charge, Pochettino continues to be touted as the favourite.
‘He’s done a very good job,’ said Solskjaer. ‘The speculation is there for a reason because he’s done well, but it’s not my job to rate different managers. My focus is on me and my team.’
The Norwegian hopes to cut the 10-point gap between United and Spurs as he chases a top-four place, by masterminding a first away win over their opponents since 2012.
He confirmed that Paul Pogba will be available after recovering from a leg injury on the club’s warm-weather training camp in Dubai this week.
‘He looked okay towards the end so he’ll be fit,’ said Solskjaer. ‘He did have some problems but came through the last couple of sessions well.
‘We’ve had tests. Newcastle away is a test and the first game (at Cardiff) how everyone reacted is a test. The first home game with the crowd is a test. Every single game you get tested, but this is against top, top side. If we want to go closer and get past them, we need a good performance and a good result.
‘You always adapt to any opponent. They are one of best in the league so we have to be aware of their strengths. But we need to attack teams, that is our strength – going forward, attacking. We have to.
‘We are not going to get as many chances to attack against these as we had before so when we have the ball we have to be ready to play well with it and we have to use the whole pitch because Wembley is a decent size pitch as well.’
Asked how United plan to contain Harry Kane, he added: ‘He’s not bad is he? He is a fantastic goal scorer and one of the best in the world, but I have got a couple that I’m happy to work with.
‘He is a top professional. Sure, whoever plays with him and trains with him can talk more about him, but from the outside he is a fantastic finisher. He never misses chances so let’s make sure he doesn’t get any against us.’
Solskjaer believes United are moving towards the style he wants following his five games and the short break in Dubai.
‘Every single day and every single game will get us closer and we will get more understanding about how we want to play,’ he added. ‘The last five games haven’t been too bad but there is always things to work on; the relationship between players, the cohesion and the understanding, so hopefully we will see a positive team.
‘Dubai was very good. We had four good days of training so the boys enjoyed it. We got a few principles down, they worked hard and I think they enjoyed working hard.’
Meanwhile, the United boss revealed that Marcos Rojo has returned to Argentina as he continues to recover from a leg injury that has kept him out for the last month.
‘He has gone back to Argentina for a while because of his injury,’ said Solskjaer. ‘How long will he be out for? How long is a piece of rope? For him it was mentally important to go away and come back fresh again.’