Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said the Manchester United job is turning his hair grey as he approaches two years in the Old Trafford hot seat.
Solskjaer will celebrate two years in the role on Saturday — the day before his side host Leeds — and the Norwegian says games like the frantic 3-2 win over Sheffield United are enough to make him feel the strain of one of the most high-profile jobs in football.
“I’ve really enjoyed these two years, even though games like this make my hair turn even greyer very quickly,” the 47-year-old said.
“I hate talking about what I’ve done and where we’re at. I don’t enjoy that bit. I always look forward and I know there’s a lot of work to be done still to get to the standard and level I want. That’s what we’re working on every single day.”
Man United were hoping to welcome fans back to Old Trafford for Leeds’ visit on Sunday but their return has been delayed after the UK government kept Manchester in tier three — which sees the toughest coronavirus restrictions in England.
Liverpool and Everton are two of only four Premier League clubs who can have supporters inside their stadiums and although Solskjaer is keen for fans to return, he believes it does give some of United’s rivals an advantage: “This is a delicate question to answer because we want fans into the stadiums,” Solskjaer said.
“I can’t see why we should stop the fans coming into the stadium where it’s possible. It’s such a difficult answer to give.
“I don’t think there would be any problem for us at Old Trafford to host 2,000 or 4,000 as well. We can’t wait to get the fans in. I don’t want to say it’s not fair that they get the fans in but, of course, it’s an advantage for them because everyone loves the support from their own club. So we just wait and hopefully next time we’ll be open.”
United’s meeting with Leeds on Sunday will be their first in the Premier League since 2004 and their first in any competition since 2011.
Solskjaer’s team have a 100% record away from home in the Premier League this season but have won just one of their six league games at Old Trafford.
“I don’t think it’s a mental issue,” the United boss said.
“It can’t be because there are no fans here or there. We should be more used to the pitch as well as the surroundings and environment.
“Sometimes it’s down to fine margins, who gets the first goal, how the opposition set up. Against Sheffield United, you had two teams who want to play on the front foot and press, which creates space for us and them.
“Sunday we’ll also play a team who will also make it a hard game for us but also maybe an open game. The games I’ve seen from Leeds, they have been very entertaining.”