Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he feels no extra pressure with highly rated Mauricio Pochettino a free agent following his shock exit from Tottenham. Pochettino was linked with the Old Trafford job before Solskjaer was appointed on a permanent basis earlier this year and now United would not have to buy the Argentine out of his contract after he was sacked and replaced by Jose Mourinho at Tottenham this week.
But Solskjaer said he had the ‘best job in the world’ so there would always be envious glances towards his position. “It doesn’t bother me at all,” the Norwegian said at his pre-match press conference on Friday. “I’ve got the best job in the world and if you’re in or out of a job, you want this job, so it doesn’t really matter whatever happens around it.
“I’ve got to focus on my job at Manchester United and do it as well as I can. I speak with Ed (Woodward, the executive vice-chairman) and the owners all the time about how we can move forward and that doesn’t change if other clubs change managers.” While Solskjaer was sad for Pochettino, he said the Premier League would benefit from having a personality such as Mourinho, his predecessor at Old Trafford, involved again.
“It’s good to have Jose back, definitely, especially for you guys (the media),” he said. “You can talk and write about everything else but for Mauricio it’s always sad when one of your colleagues, a good man, loses his job before Christmas, so we wish him all the best.
“In football, you can never be surprised or shocked by what happens. I just have to focus on us.” Seventh-placed United are back in action after the international break when they travel to face Sheffield United on Sunday, with the Blades currently one point and two places above them.
The Reds will be without Scott McTominay, who has not recovered from the ankle injury that forced him off against Brighton on November 10, and there is still no sign of a return for Paul Pogba.
The French midfielder posted a video of himself playing basketball with NBA player Jimmy Butler of Miami Heat this week, yet Solskjaer is not worried that his player could have done himself further damage.
“We don’t play basketball,” said the United manager. “I don’t see many basketball players, tackling, twisting and turning their ankles and training with studs on.
“Paul is not ready to train. He had another scan at the start of the international break and his ankle has not healed up yet.
“He is stepping up the recovery so he doesn’t have to have the cast on. When you are out for six or seven weeks, you do lose loads of muscle.
“Now he is gradually stepping up walking on the treadmill and, biking, so it will still be a few weeks. But we hope to see him in 2019.”