(Reuters) - Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock said Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s stint as Manchester United’s caretaker manager could be the best job the Norwegian will have in his life as he has nothing to lose.
United appointed the Molde manager as caretaker in the wake of Jose Mourinho’s sacking on Tuesday, and Warnock backed the former striker to steady the ship at Old Trafford and emerge as a top contender for the job permanently.
“It’s the best job Ole will have in his life, because you can’t lose,” Warnock told reporters ahead of Saturday’s Premier League meeting between the teams.
“Hold the fort until the end of the season, if he does well he’ll get a couple of years. If he doesn’t, he’ll go back to where he was enjoying anyhow. It’s a different type of management with Mike Phelan coming in (as assistant). With the players they’ve got, I bet he can’t believe his luck.”
Mourinho was sacked with United sixth in the standings after their worst start to the campaign in 28 years following a limp 3-1 defeat to arch-rivals Liverpool.
The Portuguese had a number of problems with his players both on and off the pitch, most notably with the club’s record signing Paul Pogba, and Warnock suggested that “player power” was a factor in his sacking after 2-1/2 years.
“Player power with Jose is the worst thing in management. I had that at Crystal Palace and Queens Park Rangers and you can’t really win, you have to leave,” Warnock added.
“I can’t tell Mourinho to do anything different, he’s got an unbelievable record in England...I think you’ll see a different Jose next time, whatever country he’s in.”
Warnock said it was the worst time for his 16th-placed side to face United.
“He (Solskjaer) has great players there, I bet he’s glad he’s in their dressing room. (Marcus) Rashford, (Jesse) Lingard, (Anthony) Martial, Pogba... they’ve all got things to prove.
“You do expect (Pogba) to perform. Ole had him in the youth team and he’ll know what his ability is,” Warnock said.
Molde’s season has finished for the winter and does not resume until March, and its first-team coach Erling Moe has taken temporary charge of the Norwegian club.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Heinrich