London: Ole Gunner Solskjaer has been appointed as Manchester United’s caretaker manager, replacing José Mourinho until the end of the season.
The former United striker will be assisted by Mike Phelan, another of the club’s former players, who previously spent 14 years on the club’s coaching staff, including five as the No 2.
Solskjaer takes over following Mourinho’s sacking on Tuesday. His first game in charge is Saturday’s trip to Cardiff City, the club with which he had his only previous experience of Premier League management.
The Norwegian, who has been managing Molde, took Cardiff down to the Championship in May 2014. On being sacked the following September his record was 16 defeats from 30 games and five wins, of which three were in the top flight.
Solskjaer is fondly remembered at Old Trafford for scoring the winning goal in the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich. Just over a year ago he described United as a “dream” job in an interview with United.no, the Manchester United Supporters’ Club Scandinavia.
“Manchester United is in my heart and it’s brilliant to be coming back in this role,” Solskjaer told United website after being confirmed in the role. “I’m really looking forward to working with the very talented squad we have, the staff and everyone at the club.”
United’s executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, said: “Ole is a club legend with huge experience, both on the pitch and in coaching roles. His history at Manchester United means he lives and breathes the culture here and everyone at the club is delighted to have him and Mike Phelan back. We are confident they will unite the players and the fans as we head into the second half of the season.”
The coaches Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna continue on the first-team staff.
United are sixth in the Premier League, 19 points behind the leaders, Liverpool, and 11 from a Champions League berth.