Manchester United news LIVE: Mauricio Pochettino leads next manager race ahead of Michael Carrick’s first game

Manchester United play their first match in the post-Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era on Tuesday night, when they face Villarreal in the Uefa Champions League. United and their Spanish opponents currently occupy the top two spots in Group F, but Atalanta are just two points back and face bottom side Young Boys this evening in what is a tight group, with United’s progression still somewhat in doubt.

Michael Carrick needs a fast response from the team, therefore, to the abysmal weekend defeat to Watford which saw Solskjaer ultimately removed from his position in the dugout. Since his exit, an interview with the club from the former boss surprised some, while the names rumoured to be on the wishlist to replace him quickly grew. Mauricio Pochettino is reported to be at the head of that queue though, with the Independent learning that the former Tottenham and Southampton boss is keen to take over at Old Trafford – and could even do so mid-season.

If it can’t happen until summer and United follow the interim boss route until then as they announced, Laurent Blanc is one of the leading candidates for the post – but it’s Carrick in charge as United play their penultimate European game of the group stage and a fast turnaround in performances and results is required if they want to remain in the top competition.

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Manchester United hoping to benefit from new manager bounce under caretaker Michael Carrick

Michael Carrick takes charge of his first game as Manchester United’s caretaker boss with the club looking for a ‘new manager bounce’ after sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Saturday’s 4-1 defeat to Watford was the end of the road for the popular Solskjaer, leaving United with only three wins in their last 11 games and conceding goals at an alarming rate.

Here, the PA news agency looks at how United’s managers since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement have fared in their early games.

Man United hoping to benefit from new manager bounce under Michael Carrick

Carrick will take charge of Manchester United for the first time against Villarreal on Tuesday

Carrick ready to lead Man United for ‘however long it takes'

Michael Carrick isn’t going to hide away from the fact he was part of the coaching staff which saw results took a downturn, and he’s hoping to make the most of his time in the hotseat – however many games it turns out to be for.

“My thought process is picking the team for tomorrow night, giving it my best. I know the boys very well, the staff very well, the club very well,” he said before tonight’s clash.

“This club’s been my life for an awful long time. It’s the sacrifice and dedication you’ve got to get and you’ve got to give.

“I’m prepared to do it for however long it takes, whether it’s one game, two games, whether it’s a little stretch longer than that, right now I’m not too sure, but that’s not something that’s on my mind. It’s about tomorrow.

“It’s a challenge, the initial reaction yesterday and coming to terms with the situation. But quite quickly you’ve got to focus, there’s a responsibility.

“I’ll just throw myself into doing everything I can, of course it’s a limited time, I’m well aware of that, it’s a challenge I’m relishing at the moment, I’m really looking forward to it.

“I’ve got great people working with me, a great group of players, they’ve proved that before and they’ll prove that again.”

Michael Carrick ahead of Manchester United’s Champions League clash with Villarreal

How England and Southgate show Man United the value of having a plan

An intriguing comparison here from Lawrence Ostlere, highlighting how just as one boss has signed a new deal after leading the team to higher highs than any seen in a generation, one has been disposed of after falling short.

Southgate and Solskjaer were appointed to England and Manchester United in similar circumstances, he writes, but only one fitted a broader strategy and suited the long-terms demands of the job.

How England and Gareth Southgate show Man United the value of having a plan

Southgate and Solskjaer were appointed to England and Manchester United in similar circumstances but only one fitted a broader strategy and suited the long-terms demands of the job

Manchester United’s caretaker Michael Carrick takes charge of club in need of sweeping change

A new broom sweeps clean but it is not yet clear whether that will be the case for Manchester United’s caretaker manager, if that is indeed what we’re calling him.

Michael Carrick is the interim appointment before the interim appointment before the eventual appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s permanent successor at the end of the season. One of the biggest clubs in world football could conceivably be led by four different managers – Solskjaer included – in the space of six months. And that’s if this all goes to plan.

Mark Critchley explains how so much change is needed at Old Trafford that the current events and the convoluted, longer-term plan are actually necessary and perhaps the right way to go.

Caretaker Michael Carrick takes charge of club in need of sweeping change

The former Red Devils midfielder will oversee United’s Champions League game against Villarreal on Tuesday evening

Manchester United face Villarreal in Carrick’s first game

Well, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s former assistant, Michael Carrick can’t exactly be pleased at how he is thrown into the hot seat, but this will mark his first match in sole charge of any club anywhere – and given it’s the Champions League, it’s not quite starting from the bottom, is it?

United did beat the Yellow Submarine earlier in the group stage, but it’s a tougher side to face at home than away with just one home defeat for Unai Emery’s side in LaLiga this season.

Here’s a run-down of what the former England midfielder is in line to face – as well as the rest of the Premier League teams in action this week.

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A look at the English clubs’ opponents in Champions League this week

Villarreal, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Porto come up against Premier League teams

Manchester United manager search LIVE

Good morning and welcome to the Independent’s coverage of the latest news surrounding Manchester United’s manager search, as well as the build-up to their first match since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked.

The Red Devils face Villarreal in the Champions League and Michael Carrick, former assistant to Solskjaer, is the man leading the team out this evening. That fixture kicks off at 5:45pm GMT, but before then there will remain plenty of speculation and news over who will be the longer-term replacement for Solskjaer – and perhaps on who the interim boss until the end of the season will be, too.

United took the unusual step of announcing that Carrick would take over on a short-term basis before an interim manager was appointed through to the end of 2021/22, at which point a new permanent boss would be announced as part of what may be something of an overhaul at the club across the summer.

We’ll bring you news and build-up across the day of all the goings-on at the Old Trafford club.

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