Ferguson: Solskjaer should take his time
Sir Alex Ferguson has cautioned Ole Gunnar Solskjaer against heading straight back to England following his Norwegian title success with Molde. Ferguson always felt that of the long-serving members of his Manchester United squad, Solskjaer was the most likely coach.
The long-serving United boss offered Solskjaer the opportunity to coach the reserve side at Old Trafford when he retired from the game in 2008. After a two-year apprenticeship Solskjaer returned to his former club Molde in December, triggering an instant reversal in fortunes to a team that finished last season in 11th spot.
At the weekend, he was confirmed as a league champion, the 38-year-old clinching Molde's first title in their 100-year history. The achievement brought an immediate link to the present vacancy at Championship outfit Portsmouth, and a more obvious suggestion he could eventually replace Ferguson at United.
However, the Scot believes a man who will forever have a place in Red Devils' folklore due to his injury-time winner in the 1999 UEFA Champions League final, should enjoy his time at home before opting to make a return to England. "It is possible (he could return as boss in England)," said Ferguson. "It just depends when."
"I don't think he should rush into it because experience is good and the experience he has got at Molde is a very good one. He comes from the area. His wife and family are all back home there. He has won the championship and there is no need to hurry. The time will come and the timing will be important but he is easily capable of coming into English football."
Ahead of his own side's Champions League encounter with Otelul Galati at Old Trafford tomorrow, Ferguson recalled how Solskjaer made such a positive impression during his own 366-game career at United, which yielded 125 goals in addition to the one he is most famous for. "My knowledge of Ole as a student of the game is quite clear; every game he played and every training session he took part in he always wrote it all down," said Ferguson.
"That tells you his dedication to learn the game and also his attention to meticulous detail. That gives him a great start because you need dedication and sacrifice to go into management these days. He was a great player and a very nice person. Players will respond to him."
Ferguson revealed he jumped the gun with his congratulations, texting Solskjaer prior to the 2-2 draw with Stromsgodset on Sunday that secured Molde a place in next season's Champions League. "All the players have been in touch," said Ferguson. "I texted him on Saturday thinking he had won the league but he was playing on Sunday. It is a great achievement considering this is his first year. He had a great spell with our reserve team so he wasn't coming into the job blind but it is fantastic news."