Paul Ince has controversially claimed that Steve Bruce and Mark Hughes were more worthy contenders for the Manchester United manager’s job than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Norwegian first took charge at Old Trafford in December 2018 after Jose Mourinho was sacked despite having limited coaching experience.
And despite some initial criticism there have been signs of improvement from United under him recently, and they have a big chance of winning their first trophy with Solskjaer in the Europa League.
But speaking on Sky Sports ahead of United’s game against Leeds, Ince stated his belief that both Bruce and Hughes would have been a more suitable choice than Solskjaer at the time.
“At the time, when they gave Ole the job, I thought he was really inexperienced for one of the biggest clubs in the world,” Ince said.
“I thought there were better managers out there with more experience, like Steve Bruce or Mark Hughes, who could have come in and done a better job.
“But saying that, he’s obviously changed the mindset of the players after Mourinho and the results have been very, very good.
“But the performances have still been really inconsistent, even last week against Burnley, it wasn’t a great performance. We look at their away record, they keep going behind and then coming back. They’ve got great character and mental toughness to come back.”
Ince thinks the progression United have shown recently is promising, but still believes they are a way off the quality of some of their rivals.
“I think Ole has had progress in the last year,” he added. “I still don’t think they’re where City are, or Liverpool once they get their main players back, but I think if they win the Europa League, they’re in the Champions League next year – it’s progression.
“Hopefully they can bring some new players in for next season, so yeah, I think he’s done a good job.”