Man Utd: Solskjaer delighted to kick off 2021 with win
Manchester United legends Roy Keane and Ryan Giggs have been helping out former team-mate and current United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer behind the scenes by coming into the club’s training ground to give speeches to the younger players.
Having suffered some bumps this season, including home defeats to Crystal Palace, Tottenham and Arsenal and an early Champions League exit, United now appear to have found their groove.
The Red Devils are unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League matches after edging Aston Villa at Old Trafford to start off 2021 in style.
And spirits are clearly high in the camp as United look to challenge Liverpool and Manchester City for this year’s title.
Not since Sir Alex Ferguson retired with United as champions in 2013 have the club truly competed for the top-flight crown, despite winning it 13 times between 1992 and the Scot’s departure.
But as Solskjaer looks to bring back the glory days at United, he is being helped by two of his old team-mates who helped to usher in so much success under Ferguson.
The Athletic say that Keane and Giggs are among the former players who have been brought into United’s training ground to discuss their experiences with the club’s former players.
Solskjaer is clearly looking to lean on some of the club’s past as they look to once again foster a winning culture at the club.
And Keane, a prominent Sky Sports pundit, and Giggs, in charge of the Wales national team, have plenty of advice to offer to United’s up-and-coming talents.
United have had at least one youth academy graduate in their match-day squad since 1937, a run of well over 4,000 successive matches.
Keane actually signed for United from Nottingham Forest in 1993 but is steeped in the club’s history having spent 12 trophy-laden years at the club and having acted as captain for eight of those.
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While one-club man Giggs made 963 appearances for United across 24 years in United’s first team, making him by some distance the player with the most senior appearances in the club’s history.
The Athletic add that in addition to utilising the advice that club legends can offer, there is a far more open atmosphere at United than under Solskjaer’s predecessors.
It is said Solskjaer welcomes ideas from the rest of his backroom staff, which the Norwegian is continuing to expand and evolve.
And the United manager also wants his side to continue improving on the pitch if they are to remain in the title mix right up until May.
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“Of course we’re very happy with the position we’ve found ourselves in,” he said in the aftermath of the win over Villa. “It’s such a big difference if you look 12 months back.
“You lose the chance to be there or thereabouts in the first 10 games, you can lose the chance to be in a title race.
“For us now, it’s a good position to be in but we need to improve, we need to get better.
“There’s going to be many tight games but if you can win games like tonight that’s going to make a big difference.”
He added to Sky Sports: “It’s early on in the season and we shouldn’t be too carried away with three points.
“We have improved, we are getting better and the I think the league and the season is going to be so tight.
“There is going to be different and difficult games, strange results – we’ve just got to keep working and improving as a team. We’ve done that since Project Restart started.”
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