By Simon Evans
MIAMI, Florida (Reuters) – David Beckham has hailed Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for his transformation of the club and says it is clear that the team’s supporters want him to become the permanent coach.
Solskjaer took over from the sacked Jose Mourinho in December and has led the club into the quarter-finals of the Champions League. His overall record is 14 wins from 18 games ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
“He’s just brought the players together – and the players have responded in the right way, the way the fans had hoped.
“It’s just nice to see Ole do so well,” Beckham told a small group of reporters.
United initially appointed Solskjaer while they began a search for a new full-time boss but his results and the team’s massively improved performances have put him in pole position for the job.
“It’s not down to me to decide,” said Beckham, “But look at the fans. They’ve loved all the time he has been the manager so far. They want that to continue.”
Beckham played with Solskjaer under Alex Ferguson during some of United’s most successful years and has no doubt his links to the club’s past have been crucial.
“Ole has just come in. He gains that respect from the players because he had done it. He’d been there on the biggest stage and won, he’s been successful,” the former England captain said.
“As a manager he’s done it in a mature way, a way that is respected by not just younger people but older ones. Having the support of The Boss (Ferguson) has also helped him and given him confidence. When you get results like he’s had, that’s great.”
“To see someone that knows the club, that understands the club, come in and do as well as he has done has been great… what he’s done, makes us as ex-team mates very proud. It’s exciting,” he added.
(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Christian Radnedge)