Football

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn’t want players with agendas

United manager aims to build good team environment

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer values the importance of personality, as he feels that nourishes a positive team environment, he said yesterday.

The Norwegian has been moulding the club into one who are capable of challenging for honours, and has shipped out the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez during last summer's transfer window.

In an interview with United We Stand fanzine, Solskjaer, who took charge of the Old Trafford outfit in December 2018, added that, to achieve his goals, players with personal agendas aren't welcome.

"I'd rather have a hole in the squad than an ***hole," he said.

"Personality is so important. We're a team in a team environment. You want players to have a bit of ego and edge, but they have to be able to adapt.

"In March 2019, players were physically and mentally tired, and we had injuries. The players started with negative thinking, whereas now it's positive.

"There were other things I didn't like last year, some personal agendas which couldn't be sorted out until the summer.

"There will always be players who want to play more but, if a team is to be successful, players have to be available at different times... I feel in this group we don't have one bad apple."

After an impressive start as United manager, the 47-year-old endured a slump in form towards the end of the 2018/19 season, but he admitted it provided him with valuable insight.

"When you win, everything is easy. It's when you hit difficult times that you can see who you want and who has the right mentality," Solskjaer said.

"When we went on a bad run... That's when I saw who I could build a long-term, successful squad around."

The jury is still out on United's rebuilding process, with the club in fifth spot in the English Premier League when the season was suspended in mid-March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Solskjaer's men returned to training on Wednesday, with captain Harry Maguire giving a thumbs up on the safety protocols in place.

"It seems so safe and everyone is respecting it so well," the 27-year-old centre-back told the club's website.

Maguire believes United are going to great lengths to ensure the well-being of players and staff, with temperature checks carried out each morning and training conducted in 30-minute slots, with a different coach in charge of each segment.

"The safety, it seems really well organised... It's the first step... but it's been a good start."

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