Solskjaer names ‘second to none’ and ‘winner’ Carrick as future Man Utd manager

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Former Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed Michael Carrick to step into the Old Trafford hot seat later in his career. Carrick has enjoyed an impressive start to his managerial career at Middlesbrough and has been endorsed by his old boss.

The United midfield icon is one of a handful of ex-United coaches under Solskjaer’s regime that have gone on to enjoy early success in the dugout.

Kieran McKenna guided Ipswich Town to promotion to the Championship in his maiden campaign, while Neil Wood’s Salford City are in the League Two play-offs.

Carrick joined struggling Middlesbrough in October and completely turned their fortunes around, securing a play-off spot as the Championship’s second-highest scorers behind champions Burnley.

And in a recent interview, Solskjaer was confident that the 41-year-old’s managerial trajectory would lead him to become United manager.

He told The Athletic: “I am 100 per cent sure that Michael will be the manager of Manchester United if he wants to be.”

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Solskjaer later added: “Michael is a man of value and principles, a big family man, but his knowledge is also second to none.

“He’s had Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho as managers, and he’s played with the best players in the world.

“He’s a winner, but he’s still in control of his emotions. I cannot see him not being the Manchester United manager.”

The Norwegian, who spent three years as Red Devils boss after replacing Jose Mourinho in 2018, also hailed Carrick’s winning mentality and personal character.

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“Michael is a proper human being, a proper man who you want to be successful. There’s no s**t about him. He does what he does for the right reasons,” Solskjaer explained.

“I don’t like to compare myself to many people, but I can see myself in Michael and Michael in me. I’m not saying that I could pick a pass like he could, but the two of us are calm and reflective.

“He’s a winner, a massive winner, yet he stays in control of his emotions. He knows what he wants and doesn’t lose his rag. He’ll never be emotional and fight with the players.”

Carrick’s Middlesbrough play the first of their two-legged Championship play-off semi-final against Coventry City on Sunday.

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