August 21, 2019

Solskjaer confirms coaching staff will remain next season

May 14, 2019
Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (right) with Michael Carrick

Michael Carrick, Kieran McKenna and Mark Dempsey will remain part of the Manchester United coaching staff next season, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed.

A challenging Premier League season came to an ignominious end on Sunday as relegated Cardiff won 2-0 at a shell-shocked Old Trafford.

A lot of work is required this summer to improve United’s squad and background set-up, but Solskjaer is happy enough with the coaching staff.

Former captain Carrick and ex-Under-18 coach McKenna joined predecessor Jose Mourinho’s backroom team at the start of the season, while Dempsey came in when the Norwegian was appointed caretaker.

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“They are all going to stay,” Solskjaer told United’s official app.

“I think that’s important, that we keep that team going forward. We do bounce off each other and they are some excellent coaches.

“Kieran, with his 32 years of age, you’d think he’s had 32 years in coaching.

“Demps – I’ve worked with him now since 2011 when I moved back to Norway, he came with me to Molde.

“He’s a Manchester United lad through and through, he came through with Norman Whiteside and Mark Hughes in that youth team. I think he was captain and he played once for the first team. He knows what this means.

“Michael – what can I say that no-one else knows about Michael? When he came in, it was my last season as a player so I played with him for one year.

“He’s a personality I can really connect with.”

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United assistant manager Mike Phelan signed a three-year deal on Friday and goalkeeping coach Emilio Alvarez has been with the club since Solskjaer’s predecessor Mourinho arrived in 2016.

The 1999 treble hero replaced the Portuguese as United manager in December and shone as caretaker manager, only to struggle to hit the right note as permanent boss.

Solskjaer says this season has taken a physical and emotional toll on his group, but the ups and downs have taught him a lot.

“I’ve learned that I don’t like losing,” he said. “I like winning. We started off fantastically.

“The boys were unbelievable when I came in. We were positive. We won games. The whole group gelled together and I enjoyed winning but I know that football is hard.

“You can’t just expect everything to go that way and the reality hit us. We are in a league with loads of very good teams and, to be at our top (level), we need to be 100 per cent focused.

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“We came into some games really, really focused with the full team and I thought that was fantastic.

“Then you learn a lot when you go through tough times and think about ‘who can we build this team around?’ and who we think is going to take the next step because we need to go to the next level.”

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