Solskjaer: Old Trafford is still intimidating

Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists Old Trafford has not lost the aura it had when he was a Manchester United player.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

The stadium has long been regarded as a feared venue for visiting teams but since David Moyes succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson as United manager over the summer that idea has been questioned.

The defending Barclays Premier League champions are seventh in the table and have lost four top-flight games on their own turf so far this season. They have also been eliminated from the FA Cup and Capital One Cup at Old Trafford this month, albeit on the latter occasion on penalties.

But Solskjaer, who takes Cardiff to the ground for a league match on Tuesday, still believes players sense a trip there is something very special and potentially intimidating.

"I don't agree (that Old Trafford has lost its aura). To go to Old Trafford is a dream for many footballers and sometimes that can be daunting as well for teams and players.

"Obviously it's going to be my job to make sure that it isn't too daunting for my players."

Solskjaer enjoyed great success at United, including scoring the dramatic winner in the 1999 Champions League final which sealed the treble.

There have been few highlights so far in Moyes' Red Devils tenure, but Solskjaer feels it was inevitable that whoever followed Ferguson's 26-year stint in charge would initially find things tough, and has no doubt the club will give their manager time.

"It was always going to be like that, because when you come in, new ideas, even subtle changes, will take time," said Solskjaer, whose side are currently bottom of the table and have lost two league games and won two cup ties since his appointment earlier this month.

"Manchester United are a club that will give David Moyes time."

Solskjaer admits it is a "dream" to return to United as a Premier League manager and says he may well try to catch up with Ferguson on Tuesday night.

He has stressed he is not generally one for emotion, although he accepts feelings can suddenly creep up on a person in certain situations.

Asked how emotional going back to Old Trafford might be for him, the 40-year-old said: "I'm not too much of an emotional guy.

"I'm more professional than emotional. I'll go there and of course I'll enjoy it, but I'm not thinking about the surroundings, I'm thinking about my team.

"I've had (a good reception from United supporters) for many years, because I've had a great relationship with them.

"When we've watched the United games over the years back in Norway, I've nudged the kids and said 'they are still singing about your dad!'

"But I'm not that emotional as I said. It's hard to say, though. You never know, sometimes it just catches you doesn't it? Like when you do your wedding speech!"

Solskjaer has already moved to strengthen the squad he has inherited at Cardiff by bringing in three new signings in fellow Norwegians Magnus Wolff Eikrem, Mats Moller Daehli and Jo Inge Berget.

The trio all played under the manager in their homeland at Molde, and Eikrem and Daehli have both played for United's reserves, who Solskjaer has also spent time in charge of.

Cardiff have been working on further recruitment and it appears they may soon complete the captures of two players currently on United's books, defender Fabio and winger Wilfried Zaha, with the latter deal set to be a loan arrangement.

Asked about the pair, Solskjaer said: "I think we have agreed with Manchester United on Fabio and we're due to do a medical with him, which I'm 100 per cent sure he'll pass. So hopefully we can announce it soon."

The Bluebirds have also been linked with Wigan defender Ivan Ramis, and on Saturday Stoke announced they had reached an agreement with Cardiff over a move for Peter Odemwingie, which will see fellow striker Kenwyne Jones head the other way in a player-exchange transfer.



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