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Ole Gunnar Solskjær is hoping that his years under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United FC will serve him well as he looks to make his way as a coach back in Norway with Molde FK.
A forward at United from 1996 until his retirement in 2007, the 38-year-old went into coaching with the reserve team at Old Trafford before getting his first senior appointment with Molde – the club from where he moved to Manchester – in November. Molde finished 11th in the league last season, and lie sixth after nine games in 2011, with their coach telling UEFA.com: "It been great; the results have gone up and down, but I'm going to make sure that changes. We've got a good team with loads of potential."
It has been an exciting learning curve, but as yet Solskjær has not been forced to pick up the phone and call his old boss for advice, though Sir Alex is never far from his mind. "Loads of times, all the time, I think how would he deal with this?" he said. "But there's not been a time yet when I have thought, well I need to call him. I've experienced him so much and have seen him that close, so [I know] which buttons you need to press; it has been fantastic learning from him."
Fellow Sir Alex protégés Mark Hughes, Steve Bruce and Gordon Strachan have gone on to be successful managers, and Solskjær is eager to do the same, but while winning a place in Europe for the 2012/13 campaign is a target, he is hoping in the meantime to see last season's Norwegian title-winners, Rosenborg BK, return to the UEFA Champions League group stage this time around.
"The national team [is] now doing well but if your club teams don't do well then your players won't get the recognition," said the man who scored the last-gasp winning goal in the 1999 UEFA Champions League final against FC Bayern München. "[If] they are just playing in the Norwegian League, their standard isn't good enough. [As] a country and a nation, we need to export players out to the bigger leagues for us as a nation to improve."
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