Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will look to make it five wins from five as Manchester United caretaker manager when his side take on Reading in the FA Cup this weekend.
Ahead of the third round tie, Solskjaer has faced the media to field questions ranging from his January transfer plans to crowning his temporary Old Trafford tenure with a cup medal.
United beat Newcastle on Wednesday to maintain Solskjaer’s unbeaten start since taking over from Jose Mourinho and are set to jet off to Dubai on Sunday for a mid-season training camp.
But first, the Red Devils will be hoping to see off Reading and Solskjaer has had a lot to say in the build-up.
On if he could have hoped for better start at Manchester United
“Not better because you can’t do it better but obviously when you come in to a club like this, you expect to win games and when you win four you expect to win the next one as well. I don’t look at these games and think ‘well, we can’t win that’ – I think we can win every single game.”
On if he has spoken with the club about his future
“No, no, no it’s early doors and, of course, when I came in they were open and honest about, they’re going to have a process, looking for the next manager but the more you’re here, the more you enjoy it but it’s one game at a time and the day they announce the next manager, if it’s me or someone else, good luck.”
On January transfer plans
“The club’s probably had a plan, you don’t just plan the next day and next month but this transfer window has probably been planned since the summer and year before, the next transfer window, the structure is phenomenal.
“I’m sure they’ve got their targets, I’m here to voice my opinion on that and I’m sure we’ll sit down, me and Ed [Woodward, executive vice-chairman] if we’ve got anything in the pipeline. I’m here to work with the ones I’ve got, they’ve all performed and as long as they perform they should get a chance but that’s my job to improve the team and individuals.”
On the reception from the fans
“I don’t look at it that way, I’m quite, I don’t get distracted very easily, I’m very focused I know what my job is. My job is Reading, Dubai then Tottenham, I just focus on what my job was as a player and now.”
On if United’s trip to Dubai will be a chance to get to know his players
“I’ve got to know them, had plenty of time to speak with them but not much time to train so if any of the players think it’s a holiday they’re wrong, we’re there to stick together, to work hard on the physical part of it ahead of the Tottenham game.”
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On winning the FA Cup
“We’re about winning trophies and FA Cup final is such a fantastic one to play in, I played in 1999 at Wembley. I think that was the last one at Wembley. Having watched so many FA Cup finals as a kid, to walk from the dressing room to the pitch was fantastic, I’ve seen so many times in Norway.
“That’s what we hope for, get to the final, whatever competition you’re in, you want to win and you expect, I’m not sure if you expect to win it, but that’s more or less what you do expect from a club like this and players we’ve got.”
On his new squad of players
“They’ve not scared me yet. I’ve enjoyed working with them, they want to learn and improve, that’s key, if you’re hungry and humble enough to improve then we’ll improve as a team in the end.”
On team news for Reading match
“[Marcos] Rojo and [Chris] Smalling are out. I’m not sure if Paul [Pogba] is going to be ready, he got a knock against Newcastle and hopefully [Marouane] Fellaini will get through the session today it’s more or less a full squad.
On if his fringe players will feature
“Definitely, there’ll be a few changes to the team and they’ll get a chance. Some of them are itching now to play of course, get [Romelu] Lukaku a start, get [Alexis] Sanchez a start, that’s important for them because they need more game time.”
On if Wednesday’s 2-0 win at Newcastle was his best yet
“It depends on how you look at it. Maybe the first three games were the honey moon and you expect to win. You go up there [to Newcastle] and it’s a difficult place to go. All in all, yes it’s a first clean sheet. To come away with three points, brilliant, but I enjoyed the home games more.”
On what he learned from his players against Newcastle
“I thought it would be a tough one and I’d learn how they’d react. I felt we were a bit safer in the way we played but second half you could see the pace, the power, the counter-attacking, the forward thinking and solid at the back.”