Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has the “best seat in the house” for the permanent Manchester United job, says Phil Neville, with Nicky Butt also supporting his former team-mate.
Solskjaer was brought in to replace Jose Mourinho just before Christmas and has won his first seven games in caretaker charge across all competitions.
Neville believes the Norweigan is now in charge of his own destiny at Old Trafford and says Solskjaer’s ruthless streak should not be underestimated.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “It’s got to be [decided on a game-by-game basis]. He’s got the best seat in the house because he’s in charge of his own destiny at this moment in time.
“They named him as interim manager and you’ve got to grab opportunities in life and Ole is the type that will do that. I remember when he was a player, Sir Alex [Ferguson] used to put him on for one or two minutes and he would score a goal because he always grabbed an opportunity.
“There are other managers out there that are being linked to this post, but probably no one has got the better seat at the moment than Ole. He knows the players, he knows the club, he knows how the club is working, which means that he’s in pole position.
“The very first time I met him, he sat two places down from me in the dressing room, and you talked about the baby face at the time, but there was an inner determination and ruthlessness. You saw it in the way he played football that you knew he was going to be successful in his life.
“What he’s done at Old Trafford has been great. He’s a friend and you want your friends to do well. The fact that you see smiles back on the faces, not just the players but the supporters going to the stadium, means that as a Man Utd fan, that makes me happy.”
Neville was part of a Salford City press conference on Wednesday as it was announced that David Beckham had purchased a 10 per cent share in the club, take the Class of 92’s share to 60 per cent and making them majority shareholders.
Fellow Class of 92 member and Salford City co-owner, Butt, also had kind words for Solskjaer and believes he is using his own experiences to inspire the current squad.
“He’s come in and Ole being Ole, he’s bought a smile with him,” he said. “He knows the club which is massively important for me.
“What he has done is say to everyone ‘go and enjoy playing for Man Utd, go and be the luckiest boys on the planet to be on the pitch’. He felt like that when he was a player and he’s tried to introduce that to the players now, and it’s worked.
“He’s also got a little bit of a ruthless streak, I don’t think he would be as successful as he is if you’ve not got that. He had a dream to become a football manager after his playing career, he worked hard at it and this opportunity has come and I know he is delighted to have that.
“I spoke to him on many occasions and I also know he’s going to take hold of it with both hands and hold onto it for as long as he can and hopefully it will be a long, long time.”