Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he would stop adding “rotted apples” to his squad and claims that his personality will represent new signings instead.
“I did feel that I was professional and did feel privileged to play for Manchester United,” Solskjaer told the Shiv Nadar Foundation.
“I wouldn’t be able to look at myself if I didn’t know I’d given everything for my team-mates and my manager.
“That’s what I also now look for in players that we sign or we bring up from the youth team. You have to have a good personality and that you are professional because one rotten apple in the basket will make the others rotten.
“So, for me, it’s about building a team that will reflect me and my coaching staff’s personalities and views. Of course, there are standards because we want to win. We are in the business to win.”
United are due to face Tottenham in the Premier League on 19 June-live on Sky Sports-in their first match since the Europa League defeated LASK 5-0 on 12 March.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the victory in Austria stretched the unbeaten run of United to 11 matches before football was suspended but Solskjaer is confident they can continue where they left off.
“The first game is two weeks away so we need to step up the training and get an edge to our game again,” the United boss told the club’s official website. “Everyone knows that we will have to be at our best, have to be focused against Tottenham.
“We know it’s a big game for everyone. We had Chelsea when we started the league this season so I’m confident that our players can go into the Tottenham game with that mentality of going there to play a very good game of football.
“Training has been about recapping what we did well, tweaking maybe one or two things and looking at some new ideas, but hopefully we can see a lot of what we saw towards the end before the lockdown.”
The 2019/20 Premier League season will provisionally resume on Wednesday, June 17, and Sky, the UK’s leading football channel, will make 25 free-to-air games available to all in the UK-including Everton vs. Liverpool on the first full weekend back-to enjoy.
Sky Sports will be presenting 64 live Premier League games as the season resumes. In addition to the 39 matches that are already scheduled to be shown live exclusively on Sky Sports before the coronavirus disruption, there will be 25 more matches available on both Sky Sports Premier League and Sky’s free-to-air select channel, enabling the entire nation to be part of the live sport return.
To celebrate the Premier League’s return, Sky Sports will also launch a host of innovative new features and updates to give fans an even more immersive experience and share the moments live on virtual platforms with family and friends.
Meanwhile, Solskjaer has been strengthening his team by centring it around fresh, young players.
Under the tutelage of the Norwegian, the younger senior squad members have thrived and he believes that more will soon breakthrough from the academy.
“I think we’ve always been built on youth and young players coming through and there’s always going to be one or two special kids coming through the youth system at Manchester United. We do have a couple who I’m sure that we will see in the next couple of years,” Solskjaer said.
In his first summer transfer window as United manager, Solskjaer signed Harry Maguire, Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka in an effort to form a new-look squad around a core of talented, young British players.
Portugal’s international Bruno Fernandes then arrived from Sporting Lisbon at Old Trafford in January – accompanied by Nigeria’s striker Odion Ighalo ‘s loan signing – and United continues to be linked to the more domestic and foreign talent this summer.
Solskjaer also promoted academy prospects to the first team, and during his first full season in charge, he gave prominent roles to Brandon Williams, Scott McTominay and Mason Greenwood.
He continued: “I don’t want to put pressure on them in giving the names now because I don’t think it’s fair but there’s a few that we believe are going to make it as first-team players at Manchester United.
“Of course, you can see Mason Greenwood now and Brandon Williams, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba’s been in the system, so has Andreas Pereira.
“It’s fantastic to see those kids be successful and we think that we’re going to see a few more coming through.”
Solskjaer also talked about what it means to be a part of Manchester United.
With this year’s coronavirus pandemic potentially impacting any big-money deals, Solskjaer says any player he recruits to his squad will have to buy into the common ideology of the club in future:
“The first step to being a Manchester United player and person, you have to be humble enough to know you always have to work hard. Never give in and always do your best, 100 per cent effort is required every day and don’t think you are better than you are.
“You still have to play with that confidence at the same time. It’s a fine balance but that is what is going to make the difference when we want to get to the championship again that we want to win.”