Manchester United appoints Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as interim manager

CNN  — 

Former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been appointed as the club’s caretaker manager until the end of the 2018/19 season following the dismissal of Jose Mourinho.

The 45-year-old Solskjaer spent 11 seasons at Old Trafford, famously scoring the winning goal in the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

He Norwegian told the club’s official website: “Manchester United is in my heart and it’s brilliant to be coming back in this role. I’m really looking forward to working with the very talented squad we have, the staff and everyone at the club.”

United fired Mourinho Tuesday with the club languishing in sixth place in the English Premier League, 19 points behind leaders Liverpool after Sunday’s insipid 3-1 defeat at Anfield.

READ: Who is the right man to replace Mourinho?

Solskjaer, who recently signed a new deal as manager of Norwegian club Molde, will take charge of his first match on Saturday, against Cardiff City – a club he previously managed without much success.

Mike Phelan, a coach at United during Alex Ferguson’s managerial reign, returns to the club as assistant manager.

In a statement, United’s chief executive Ed Woodward said: “Ole is a club legend with huge experience, both on the pitch and in coaching roles.

“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.”

The club said Solskjaer would remain in charge while the club conducted “a thorough recruitment process for a new full-time manager.”

‘Baby-faced assasin’

Nicknamed the “baby-faced Assassin,” Solskjaer scored 126 goals in 366 appearances for United during Ferguson’s trophy-laden years, coming off the bench in the Champions League final in 1999 to secure a dramatic victory for United in the dying moments of the match.

In 2008, he started his coaching career as United’s reserve team manager before becoming boss of Molde.

His sole experience of managing in the English Premier League was unsuccessful. The Norwegian was in charge of Cardiff when the Welsh side was relegated to English football’s second tier in May 2014.

He was sacked the following December, leaving Cardiff with a record of 16 defeats in 30 games.