Paul Ince has played down the impact Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made since taking over at Manchester United.
Solskjaer recorded his sixth successive victory as United boss against Tottenham on Sunday, but Ince believes anybody could have bettered Jose Mourinho’s final stretch in charge.
How big has Solskjaer’s Man Utd impact been? Five things to know…
- Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho in December after the Portuguese coach suffered his fifth league defeat of the season against Liverpool.
- United have won all six of their games since Solskjaer came in, scoring 17 goals and conceding just three.
- The Red Devils have kept a clean sheet in each of their last three matches.
- Solskjaer matched a club record set by Matt Busby by winning his first five league games in charge.
- United have made up eight points on Arsenal since Solskjaer became manager and are now level on points with the Gunners.
The likes of Victor Lindelof, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford have all been praised for their improved performances under Solskjaer.
But Ince has played down the Norwegian’s influence, claiming morale at the club couldn’t have dipped any lower than it was toward the end of Mourinho’s tenure.
“We can’t get too sucked in with what Ole’s done,” Ince told Paddy Power. “Let’s be honest, it couldn’t get any worse at Manchester United before Jose Mourinho left.
“There was a dark cloud over the entire club, the players, the fans and the staff. It was impacting performances on the pitch.
“Ole’s come in, a friendly face at the club with a calming influence and it seems as though the players have upped their effort as a result.
“The shackles are off, but that doesn’t mean that Ole is the right man for the job. I could have gone in and done the same thing, so could Steve Bruce.
“Anyone could have gone in and done what he has done, it wasn’t a hard thing to do to give those players freedom and improve the mood.”
What do PSG stars think of Man Utd under Solskjaer?
Ince isn’t the only onlooker who has had a say on Solskjaer’s impact at Manchester United.
Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani, who will come up against United in the Champions League next month, have been discussing their next European opponents.
“I think Manchester United is always a top side,” Mbappe told sport24.
“It’s not easy to play any team in the Champions League, we are going to do our best.”
Cavani added: “I think after the departure of Jose Mourinho, Manchester United has a new energy. They have started to win matches and have more continuity.”