Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has given his full backing to Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, claiming he represents the Old Trafford side in “an exceptional way”. The two Manchester sides square off at Old Trafford today in a crucial game for both teams.
Both managers have endured difficult campaigns this year, but for drastically different reasons.
For City, Guardiola has been forced to surrender the Premier League title after winning it in back-to-back years.
In Solskjaer’s case, he has endured a year of speculation over his future, with reports suggesting he will lose his job at the end of the season, with Mauricio Pochettino and Massimiliano Allegri both tipped to take over.
United are enjoying a brilliant second half to the season, with new signing Bruno Fernandes completely revitalising the team.
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Since Fernandes joined in the late stages of the January transfer window, United are unbeaten and have won two of their four Premier League games.
That form has gone some way to ease the pressure on Solskjaer’s shoulders, but question marks are still looming over whether Ed Woodward will pull the trigger at the end of the current campaign and go with a more established boss.
United had a difficult first half of the season, and found themselves facing an uphill battle to get towards the Champions League places.
But since their turn of form, they are in a brilliant position to get into the top five, and Guardiola was full of praise for the way the Norwegian has got his team playing.
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“I am not there, I am not part of United but what I feel is that people at the club believe in Ole and I think he is doing a really good job” the City boss said.
“Always I believe that managers and clubs need time to implant, to build something that the manager and club both believe in. Unfortunately sometimes the results mean clubs take the decision to break that process.
“It is not always about the tactics sometimes, it is about the feel, how the players follow the manager.
“I appreciate the quality of their manager a lot, I think he represents United in an exceptional way.
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“And I think in the good moments, Ole arrives with an incredible impact in terms of results and afterwards, maybe they drop a little bit.
“But on both sides of the club they are stable. From what I read the comments are stable from the board and I think Ole’s behaviour here in the press conferences was always quite similar and now the results are getting back.
“United are scoring a lot of goals, they create chances, they concede few, and especially they have good ‘keepers, good defenders, a bigger squad.
“So with United there is no doubt about it, all the time, every season, they have good teams.”
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