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Solskjaer needs time to make lasting impact at Manchester United, Guardiola says

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Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stamped his authority at Manchester United with a fresh tactical approach.

But he was quick to add that the Norwegian would need more time to build a squad capable of winning titles.

Manchester United have struggled for consistency in Solskjaer’s first full season as manager and have won just two English Premier League (EPL) games since beating Manchester City last month.

Losing to Arsenal on New Year’s Day left Manchester United five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, but Guardiola has seen signs of Manchester United players finally translating Solskjaer’s

game plans onto the pitch.

“Ole has started seeing the team he wanted — that’s my feeling,” Guardiola told a news conference on Monday, ahead of Manchester City’s League Cup semi-final first leg game against Manchester United on Tuesday.

“Even (from) the last (league) game against Arsenal, which they lost, we saw what they want.

“It’s not easy to handle a team at a big, big club… always demanding to win competitions and every manager needs time. I have the feeling Manchester United started to play the way he wants.”

Guardiola will look to ensure his team is not vulnerable to counter-attacks as they were against their city rivals in December.

That was when the Manchester United duo of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial carved out an early lead at the Etihad Stadium last month.

“I think we conceded few counter-attacks in the beginning and in just two-three seconds they’re in the box. They have incredible pace and talent to do that,” the Spanish coach said.

“In general the game was good, (and) we created chances.”

Manchester City confirmed defender Nicolas Otamendi, who missed the last two games against Port Vale and Everton, has returned to training and will be available for the match at Old Trafford.

“I have an idea of the way I want (us) to play, but I am not 100 per cent sure of the guys who (will) play tomorrow (Tuesday),” Guardiola added.

“Especially with the incredible amount of games some players have in the legs, they should be rested for the previous games.”

OLAL

(Edited by: Olawale Alabi)

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