Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola praised Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's "incredible" start as caretaker manager at Manchester United.

Solskjaer has won his opening five matches after replacing Jose Mourinho in December – equalling Matt Busby's record in a 2-0 FA Cup victory against Reading last week.

The 45-year-old Norwegian – appointed until the end of the season – could surpass Busby's record with victory against Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday.

Asked about Solskjaer following Manchester City's 9-0 humiliation of Burton Albion in the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-finals on Wednesday, Guardiola reporters: "His start is much better than mine, I lost my first game and drew the second [after being appointed in 2016].

"He won all the games. He is a young manager, getting incredible results. I saw a few minutes of games they played and they played good.

"But it is not my business to talk about other opponents, we have a tough game around the corner against Wolves.

"It will be a tough game. We have one day off and then prepare for the game."

Premier League champions City are second in the league, four points behind leaders Liverpool and 12 ahead of sixth-placed United.

Paul Pogba should be ready to return to full training this week, according to Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Paul Pogba will link up late with his team-mates for a mid-season training camp in Dubai, Manchester United have confirmed.

Pogba did not travel with the rest of the squad on Sunday after missing United's FA Cup third round win at home to Reading a day earlier.

United said in a statement that the France international is still being treated for a "knock" suffered in Wednesday's win at Newcastle United.

"Paul Pogba has not completely recovered from the knock he sustained against Newcastle and stayed back for treatment," the statement said.

"But he will join his Manchester United team-mates in Dubai soon in preparation for the Tottenham game."

Pogba was on the end of a heavy challenge from Jonjo Shelvey as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side ran out 2-0 winners at St James' Park.

United, who have won all five games since Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho, travel to Wembley to face Spurs on Sunday.

Pogba has been in fine form since Mourinho's departure, winning United's Player of the Month award for December.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took responsibility for Manchester United's disjointed performance against Reading in the FA Cup, admitting his changes to the line-up affected the team in their 2-0 win.

Juan Mata's penalty and a Romelu Lukaku strike in the first half were enough to send United into the fourth round, although the manner of their victory was unconvincing.

Reading, who sit 23rd in the Championship, had 59 per cent of the possession and 13 shots to United's eight, but failed to make the most of some promising openings in attack at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer accepted making nine changes to the team that started the 2-0 Premier League win over Newcastle United took its toll, but he reserved particular praise for Matteo Darmian - deployed as a makeshift centre-back - and debutant Tahith Chong.

"It was always going to be difficult with my team selection," he said. "I made it hard for the players, to be fair, because it's a team that's never played together. Matteo played out of position as well, but I thought he was excellent.

"Reading made it really difficult for us. We never had a kick the first five minutes. They just kept possession and we weren't cohesive enough in the pressing. That happens when you don't have a team that plays together as much, and we didn't have time to work too much on it."

On Chong, who came off the bench for Mata 62 minutes in, United's caretaker boss said: "He had two or three really good moments, as you do when you're young. You don't run the game as a first performance for a 19-year-old.

"But he got the crowd going and has shown one or two glimpses of what he can do. He has in training, anyway. And the game wasn't won, it was 2-0 and was still, 'go out there and perform'. It's not like it was 4-0 and it's just a party, so he did well defensively as well, and I think he'll remember this for a long, long time."

Mata's opening goal came after referee Stuart Attwell penalised Omar Richards for a foul on the Spaniard, which occurred just before Fred put the ball in the net but was flagged for offside, after a lengthy VAR consultation.

"From where I sat, it was a clear penalty," Solskjaer said. "I didn't need VAR, but they were probably checking if it was offside or not. Well done by Juan: he gets the ball down and the penalty was well struck."

Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hopeful Alexis Sanchez will recover from his hamstring problem in time to face Tottenham.

United made it five wins from five under Solskjaer on Saturday as first-half goals from Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku sent them through to the FA Cup fourth round at the expense of Reading. 

The win was marred somewhat by Sanchez hobbling off with 25 minutes remaining, struggling again with a hamstring issue. 

But Solskjaer is confident the Chile international will be available for selection at Wembley in a crunch Premier League clash next time out. 

"I hope it's not going to be too bad," Solskjaer told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"It's the same hamstring that he's been having trouble with but we'll see. Hopefully he'll be okay for next weekend."

United were sluggish at times during their victory over the second-tier Royals, but Solskjaer took responsibility for their performance, acknowledging that he may have made too many changes.

"I have to say that they made it tough for us and I probably made it tough for us," the Norwegian told BT Sport.

"You know when you make nine changes it is never easy for a team to play together. 

"We've learned a lot, every single day we play together and train together we learn. We know we need some fitness work, need to work on relations, but today I put a team together that never played together. 

"We're through, that's good, [but] loads of things to improve.

"We know that if the performance is repeated at Wembley against Spurs, we're not going to come away with a clean sheet and any points."

Alexis Sanchez appeared to suffer an injury setback as he hobbled out of Manchester United's FA Cup tie against Reading on Saturday.

The former Arsenal man has struggled to produce his best form in the first 12 months of his Old Trafford career, but he looked to be getting back on track under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following a recent hamstring injury.

Sanchez provided assists in consecutive matches after making his return, teeing up Marcus Rashford from the bench against Newcastle United and then feeding Romelu Lukaku in the weekend's third-round match.

However, the Chile star departed the clash with Reading with around 25 minutes remaining at Old Trafford, seemingly indicating an issue with his troublesome hamstring as Rashford arrived from the bench.

Sanchez opted for a place in the dugout, though, rather than heading down the tunnel for treatment, producing a light-hearted moment when he inadvertently sat in Solskjaer's seat before being moved by the Norwegian.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not expect Manchester United to make any signings during the January transfer window.

United caretaker manager Solskjaer confirmed on Friday he will hold talks with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward over the Premier League club's transfer plans this month.

The centre-back position has been cause for concern after former boss Jose Mourinho tried to sign Leicester City's Harry Maguire and Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld before the start of the season.

Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly and Roma's Kostas Manolas have now been linked with moves to Old Trafford, however, Solskjaer is not anticipating new arrivals in January.

"I'm happy with the squad I've got," Solskjaer said. "I don't expect anyone to come in but obviously if the club have targeted and identified a few and I think they might fit here, I'll give my thumbs up. But it's not just my decision.

"Nobody had to tell me I had loads of talented players [to inherit at United]. I can see that from outside.

"We didn't speak too much about what's been going on, to be honest. It was about seeing what you can do to go back to the way we used to play, the way Man United are supposed to play, exciting football. We're looking a little bit like we want to see the team [we want to see]."

Solskjaer – who was appointed until the end of the season after Mourinho's sacking in December – has overseen four successive victories.

United will look to maintain their red-hot form when they host Reading in the FA Cup third round on Saturday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expects to hold talks with Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward over the club's plans for the January transfer window.

United have been tipped to sign a new centre-back during the coming weeks due to injury problems and a lack of form among their defenders, with Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly and Roma's Kostas Manolas among the names linked with Old Trafford.

Although he is only a caretaker boss, having been appointed to replace Jose Mourinho last month, Solskjaer plans to speak with Woodward about their intentions in the market.

However, he is confident there have been plans in place for some time, regardless of the uncertainty over who will be made permanent manager this year.

"The club's probably had a plan," he told a news conference ahead of Saturday's FA Cup clash with Reading. "It's probably been planned since the summer, and the year before.

"The structure of the club is phenomenal. I'm sure they've got their targets. I'm here to voice my opinion on that. I'm sure we'll sit down, me and Ed, and if they've got anything in the pipeline.

"I'm here now to work with the ones I've got. I have to say, the question of, 'Could you have hoped for better?' - I think they've all performed. As long as the players perform, they should always be given the next chance. That's my job as well, to improve the team and individuals."

Solskjaer said this week he would love the opportunity to stay on as manager after the end of the season, although he has always asserted he was only brought in from Molde as an interim figure.

The 45-year-old insists the speculation over his future, along with the increasingly vocal support from the United fans, will not prove a distraction as he attempts to bring success to the club in the coming months.

"It's early doors," he said. "Of course, when I came in, they were open and honest about having a process looking for the next manager. But the more you're here, the more you enjoy it. But I've said: one game at a time, and the day they announce the next manager, good luck.

"I don't get distracted easily. I'm very focused. I know what my job is: my job is now Reading, and then we go to Dubai to prepare for Tottenham. It's not up to me to rate myself and judge myself. That's for someone else. I was like that as a player, I just focused on what my job was."

Paul Pogba is a doubt for Manchester United's FA Cup clash with Reading but Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez will start, caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed.

The France international picked up what Solskjaer described as a knock in the 2-0 Premier League win over Newcastle United on Wednesday, in which he was caught by a high challenge from Jonjo Shelvey.

Pogba could sit out Reading's visit to Old Trafford on Saturday, while Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo are definitely sidelined, but Solskjaer plans to play Lukaku and Sanchez as he tries to rotate his squad.

"Rojo, Smalling - they're out," he told a news conference on Friday. "I'm not sure if Paul's going to be ready; he got a knock against Newcastle. Hopefully, [Marouane] Fellaini will get through the training session today and we'll be more or less a full squad.

"There'll be a few changes and they get a chance. Some of them are itching to play. [We will] get Lukaku a start, get Sanchez a start. That's important for them because they need more game time."

United are expected to earn a comfortable win against a Reading side who sit 23rd in the Championship, and Solskjaer admits there is a level of expectation for the Red Devils to reach at least the final, as they did when they lost 1-0 to Chelsea at Wembley last season.

"Whatever competition you're in, you want to win when you're at a club like this," he said. "I'm not sure if you expect to win it but it's more or less what you do expect from a club like this and the players we've got."

After the match, United head to Dubai for a warm-weather training camp before they face Tottenham at Wembley in the Premier League on January 13.

Solskjaer thinks the break will be a good opportunity for players to build up fitness after a hectic playing schedule since he took charge last month.

"I've got to know them because I've had plenty of time to speak with them, but we haven't had plenty of time to train. It'll be a time to get some fitness work in and work hard with them," he said.

"If any of the players think it's a holiday, they're wrong! We're there to stick together, work on the physical part of it, and of course think a little bit ahead to the Tottenham game.

"They've not scared me yet! I really enjoy working with them. They want to learn, they want to improve and that's key for any footballer: if you're hungry enough and humble enough to know you've got something to improve and to work on, then we'll improve as a team in the end."

Reading boss Jose Gomes has played down the impact made by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and claimed the identity of the Manchester United manager "doesn't matter" given the quality of their squad.

Portuguese Gomes, an associate of Solskjaer's predecessor Jose Mourinho for 20 years, takes his Championship strugglers to Old Trafford on Saturday to face a United side rejuvenated in recent weeks.

Solskjaer has recorded four successive wins since taking over from Mourinho on an interim basis – matching a club record set by the great Matt Busby – and lifted the clouds that seemed to be gathering under the former Chelsea boss.

Gomes, however, was quick to highlight the role of the players in United's upturn in form.

Asked to assess their FA Cup third-round opponents, he told a media conference: "These players, and it's my opinion, even if nobody is on the bench, they can win without one [a manager].

"You can't say they are stronger now to in the past. It doesn't matter the manager during the week - they can win the matches."

​Gomes talked up the impact Mourinho has had on his countrymen but insisted he would not seek his advice on how to beat United.

He added: "He's a great coach, it's very difficult to achieve what he did. I don't know what happened [at United]. I respect him and, for Portuguese coaches, it's important everything he achieved, but Manchester United decided differently.

"They are playing good football, the players are happy to be playing like they are.

"It’s a new manager with different ideas, more freedom for the players. The players are showing they are comfortable in this situation with this freedom."

Reading lie 23rd in the Championship and are without a win in 10 games but Gomes - who took over at the Madejski Stadium on December 22 - is excited at the prospect of facing a club of United's stature.

"They are one of the biggest clubs in the world," he said. "If you go to China, South America, all the kids follow and choose to play PlayStation as Manchester United. 

"It's a special moment to play against these teams. The atmosphere at Old Trafford, it's like a football party, and my players must be happy to be part of it. It will be a very tough game for us but, in football, anything can happen."

Interim Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is already relishing the chance to take on Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

Jose Mourinho said he still has "a future without Manchester United" and refrained from criticising the club following his sacking.

The Portuguese's two-and-a-half-year stint at Old Trafford was ended on Tuesday when he departed with the club 19 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool and 11 adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea.

Mourinho spoke for the first time publicly on Wednesday - shortly after United had confirmed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as his replacement on an interim basis - and the 55-year-old stressed he was ready to move on.

"I don't change," he told Sky Sports News.

"What I did when I left Chelsea for example is the same that I'm going to do now.

"I keep the good things and I don't speak about anything that happened in the club. We could speak about so many good things, we could speak about not as good, but that's not me.

"It's finished. Manchester United has a future without me and I have a future without Manchester United."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been confirmed as the interim replacement for Jose Mourinho at Manchester United until the end of the season.

Mourinho was sacked by United on Tuesday after a torrid first half of 2018-19, with Sunday's 3-1 defeat at bitter rivals Liverpool leaving them 19 points off the top of the Premier League.

Former United striker Solskjaer has been named as manager until the end of the season, when the club aim to appoint a full-time successor to Mourinho.

Solskjaer won two league titles with Molde before a brief, unsuccessful spell at Cardiff City in 2014.

A former Norway international, Solskjaer returned to Molde in 2015 and had been in charge ever since.

The 45-year-old remains a fan favourite at United, predominantly for his part in the 1999 Champions League success, scoring a last-gasp winner in the 2-1 final defeat of Bayern Munich.

Mike Phelan, a former assistant at United in Alex Ferguson's time at the club, has returned to Old Trafford as a first-team coach.

Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna will remain in their coaching positions having been part of Mourinho's staff.

Solskjaer spent 11 years at United between 1996 and 2007 and scored 126 goals in 366 appearances.

The 45-year-old became the club's reserve-team manager in 2008, a position he held until he returned to Norway to take the job with Molde in 2011.

"Manchester United is in my heart and it's brilliant to be coming back in this role," he told the club's official website.

"I'm really looking forward to working with the very talented squad we have, the staff and everyone at the club."

United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward highlighted Solskjaer's relationship with the club and previous experience as a coach.

"Ole is a club legend with huge experience, both on the pitch and in coaching roles," Woodward added.

"His history at Manchester United means he lives and breathes the culture here and everyone at the club is delighted to have him and Mike Phelan back.

"We are confident they will unite the players and the fans as we head into the second half of the season."

Norway's Prime Minister appeared to wish Ole Gunnar Solskjaer good luck amid mounting speculation he will be appointed interim manager at Manchester United.

Former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks set to replace axed manager Jose Mourinho until the end of the season after the Premier League strugglers appeared to accidentally announce his return.

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