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Zola: Solskjaer has done ‘quite remarkable’ work at Man United

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Chelsea assistant coach Gianfranco Zola is happy to see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer do so well at Manchester United ahead of their FA Cup tie on Monday.

Since replacing Jose Mourinho in December on an interim basis, Solskjaer has won 10 of his 12 games in charge of United and only lost for the first time on Tuesday in a 2-0 Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.

This has marked an incredible turnaround of fortunes for United with the club having clawed their way back from an 11-point deficit in December to break into the Premier League top-four places.

Now the Red Devils will be eyeing victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday in their fifth-round tie to continue their pursuit in handing Solskjaer a third FA Cup title and a first as a manager.

Speaking on the former United striker, Zola praised Solskjaer for the job he’s pulled off at Old Trafford so far.

“I am pleased, that’s the first feeling I have,” Zola told the club website.

“I know Ole, we did a course together and I’m pleased to see him doing so well. United weren’t in a very good moment before but I knew the value of the team and that they would come back.

“What he has done in a small amount of time is quite remarkable. He was clever, always interested and you can see when someone is focused on what he’s doing. He has that and I’m pleased he’s showing that.

“At the moment they are enjoying what they’re doing. They are committed, working together as a group and when you have that attitude and the qualities they have, the results can only be good.

“It’s strange because they had a very good coach before but sometimes things don’t work out. The value of the team wasn’t in doubt and it’s no surprise they are doing what they’re doing.”

The Blues will have a challenge on their hands for the rest of this month with the second leg of their last-32 Europa League clash with Malmo FF coming up next Thursday.

After that, Chelsea will then face Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final before taking on Tottenham in a Premier League match.

Therefore, Zola accepts that Chelsea must start turning around their recent form after suffering two heavy defeats to Bournemouth and City across their last four games.

“Nobody is pleased when you lose games the way we have recently,” admitted Zola.

“The players, coaches, everyone. We know it’s a moment in which we’ve alternated results and that’s something we don’t like.

“We know we have to be consistent. We have the team to afford to do that and it’s important everyone understands the situation and is working on it, players, coaches and the club. It’s not the challenge, but it’s the unity facing the challenge which makes the difference and I believe we have that.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 29: Gianfranco Zola, Chelsea coach watches his team warm up prior to the UEFA Europa League Group L match between Chelsea and PAOK at Stamford Bridge on November 29, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)