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Klopp: Solskjaer has proved he deserves to manage a ‘top club’

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been left impressed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s “brilliant job” at Manchester United and backed him to become a top-club coach.

Since replacing Jose Mourinho in the Old Trafford dugout in December, Solskjaer has embarked on a record-breaking start as caretaker manager by winning 11 of his opening 13 matches in charge.

The Norwegian has also got United back into the top-four in the Premier League table, despite the club being 11 points adrift when he first arrived.

As a result, Solskjaer is now viewed as a strong favourite to take on the top job permanently at Old Trafford despite reported competition from Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino and Juventus’ Massimiliano Allegri.

For now though, the 45-year-old is preparing his United team against an old rival he knows very well from his own playing days at the club in Liverpool.

The Reds effectively sent Mourinho packing after beating United 3-1 last time out and will be looking for a similar result on Sunday in order to maintain their title challenge in the Premier League.

But, for Klopp, there is nothing but respect for Solskjaer given everything he’s accomplished as the duo prepare to lock horns for the first time this weekend.

“I am a manager myself and I know that we are not magicians,” Klopp told Sky Sports.

“It is not like we can come in and say ‘you are not good, but I can make you really good’!

“But we are blessed with really good players around us and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is doing a brilliant job.

“It is all about bringing out the potential of the team, improving the quality, and that is what he obviously did and that makes him a manager for a top club.

“I didn’t know him, I met him one time – I think – last year at a training game in La Manga, where he was with the Norwegian team, and so we had a little chat.

“He is a nice fellow, that is for sure, and what he did so far is obviously brilliant.”

Under the Molde FK coach, United have returned to a more offensive style of football after struggling to hit top form through Mourinho’s rather conservative tactics.

Klopp added: “We will see how they play against us. I think they are able to play different ways.

“They are much more front-footed for sure now, that is clear, but their counter attacks are a massive threat, especially when (Anthony) Martial and (Jesse) Lingard get fit again.

“It is not only one thing they are good at. There are a few ways where you can at least give them a few questions they don’t have easy answers for – but it will be a very physical game and very demanding for both teams.”

The Premier League match between United and Liverpool at Old Trafford will begin at 3:05 PM (CET) this Sunday.

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 18: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Interim Manager of Manchester United celebrates victory after the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on February 18, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)