Manchester United staff thought Ed Woodward had inadvertently hinted at sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer by failing to give any encouragement to their list of transfer targets, reports say. This was back in October when the club were on a run of five matches without a win but the Norwegian has since turned things around, with the Red Devils a side on the up.
Manchester United chief Woodward has sacked David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho ever since taking the reins from David Gill in 2013.
But he wants things to work out under Solskjaer, having backed the Norwegian throughout his time at Old Trafford so far.
United decided to name their former striker as permanent boss in March last year and, though they’ve experienced setbacks this season, things appear to be rosier now.
Yet The Times say Solskjaer’s staff feared the sack back in October, when the club went five matches without a win.
It’s claimed they believed that Woodward’s failure to give them encouragement over their transfer targets was a hint that a parting of the ways could be on the cards.
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United failed to beat Liverpool and Newcastle that month, while also drawing with AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League.
But, in the end, Woodward’s encouragement arrived.
He reportedly told Solskjaer that he believed in him and that his position at Old Trafford, the Norwegian’s dream job, was safe.
And though it’s been slow but steady progress, the United manager has helped the club respond by impressing in recent months.
The Red Devils are currently on a run of 11 games without defeat, keeping nine clean sheets during that time.
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And there’s a real sense that United are now finally on an upwards trajectory having struggled in the years since Ferguson’s appointment.
Despite that, however, ESPN pundit Shaka Hislop still believes it would be worth the Red Devils going for Mauricio Pochettino.
Pochettino has been out of work since being sacked by Tottenham back in October.
And Hislop said: “I, like most, have felt that this is too big a job for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“I still maintain that if it were up to me, and I’ve got Pochettino available, I’m going to go for Pochettino, regardless of the run that they’re in right now.
“But as I said at the time, when he was hired full time, after getting results I think convinced the board, I think he did enough to be given a shot, and then the bottom kind of fell out.
“But now all of a sudden it’s picked back up, at exactly the right time.
“I think it’s more likely he’s the Manchester United manager come September, October, than not.
“Yes [Solskjaer cannot take United further than Pochettino could], I think so.
“He’s got the ship going in the right direction but I still think that if you’re a big-name player and a lot of clubs are interested in you, the lure of playing for Solskjaer pales in comparison to many of the other managers at the big clubs in world football.”
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