Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on His Manchester United Vision, Long-Term Targets

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2019

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 03:  Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Interim Manager of Manchester United celebrates victory following the Premier League match between Leicester City and Manchester United at The King Power Stadium on February 3, 2019 in Leicester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said he has mapped out his vision for the club to executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and is thinking about long-term targets at Old Trafford. 

Solskjaer is unbeaten in 10 matches as United chief and has made a fine case so far to be handed the job permanently. He addressed the media ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash at Fulham and discussed the imprint he's leaving on the club: 

"Well, every day I feel that I do help the club, do put a little bit of my stamp on it. But decisions, sometimes of players' futures are not down to me, either. It's the players, do they want to stay, do they want to move on, do they want something else, but we have a vision and a picture of how we want to look in a few years and of course we have to think long term and also short term.

"And I've got a picture of what this Man United team should look [like] in a couple of years, I don't know if it's with me, but I put my views to Ed [Woodward] and the club.

"I've supported Man United and I've followed Man United for many, many years since I've gone back home. And I did have a clear view on what I thought my opinion would be, you get a different view on some of the players, he's impressed me, he's got some way to go, but we're not too far away from when I came."

The 45-year-old was appointed to succeed Jose Mourinho on an interim basis in December. He left Norwegian club Molde, where it was presumed he would return come the end of the 2018-19 season.

However, Solskjaer has far exceeded expectations since returning to his old stomping ground, and Sky Sports Statto depicted his Red Devils as the Premier League's form team:

Sky Sports Statto @SkySportsStatto

.@ManUtd were 1️⃣1️⃣ points off top 4 when Solskjaer was appointed - now currently 2️⃣ points behind 4th placed Chelsea Most points won since Dec 22 22 MAN UTD 18 Tottenham 13 Liverpool 13 Wolves 13 Arsenal 13 Chelsea https://t.co/mWxNWwu293

Sky Sports pundit Danny Higginbotham recently dissected Solskjaer's tweaking of the team, as well as his overseeing of Paul Pogba's transformation back into a world-class force:

Sky Sports Premier League @SkySportsPL

🗣'You have to give Solskjaer unbelievable credit' Danny Higginbottom believes Manchester United will finish in the top four under Solskjaer. What do you think? 📲https://t.co/Jxv1PPxC15 https://t.co/dswYlYFCId

Mourinho's relationship with Woodward and United's higher powers in general was believed to be a contributing factor to his demise at the club. Liam Corless of the Manchester Evening News wrote in December that the Portuguese was frustrated by United's "refusal to fully back him in the transfer market."

Solskjaer hasn't been shown any more favour considering the club did not sign any players in January, but the fact that the manager is talking long term bodes well for his chances of staying beyond May.

The revival of some core club values has also boosted Solskjaer's reputation at Old Trafford. Attacker Jesse Lingard told MailOnline's Anthony Hay the manager had brought back the old-school United, while the Chronicle's Ciaran Kelly attested to the kind of welcome changes being implemented: 

Ciaran Kelly @CiaranKelly__

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer requested the Molde players and staff wear club suits to games when he took over in 2011 and he's done the same at United. Sends the right message before a ball's even kicked. Particularly for a trip to Wembley. #mufc

Many at the club would likely welcome Solskjaer's permanent apppointment, with hopes high that he could turn United's fortunes enough to make it past Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League last 16.

United can clinch a 10th victory under Solskjaer's command if they triumph in Saturday's early kick-off at Craven Cottage.