Belfast Telegraph

Hughton dismisses Paul Ince’s criticism of Solskjaer’s flying start

Ince claimed ‘anyone’ could have done the same job as Solskjaer.

Brighton boss Chris Hughton has praised Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s record-breaking impact at Manchester United in the wake of dismissive comments from Paul Ince.

Norwegian Solskjaer has won six successive games since being appointed United boss, the first person to do so.

But former United midfielder Ince has talked down the achievement and claimed “anyone” could have produced the same results following the departure of Jose Mourinho.

Hughton, who takes his Albion side to Old Trafford on Saturday, feels Ince’s assessment of the situation is unfair.

“I don’t think just anybody could have gone in and had the record that he has now,” said Hughton.

“I think you have to give him credit for that. In whatever way he has done that – and I don’t know what way that is – he’s got results.

“They haven’t lost for six games. You have to give them a lot of praise for that.

“Any manager coming in after Mourinho, I don’t think they could have expected any more because the results and the performances indicate that.

“We know how difficult every game is.”

Solskjaer was eased into his interim role with four league fixtures against teams currently in the bottom half of the table and a routine FA Cup third-round tie at home to Championship Reading.

The 45-year-old, who scored 126 goals for United between 1996 and 2007, recorded his most impressive victory to date by beating top-four rivals Tottenham 1-0 at Wembley last weekend.

Hughton attended that game and has been impressed with United’s improved performances and attacking intent.

“Seeing their recent games, they are playing a way that allows the quality and pace in their side (to show) and they look like they can score goals,” he said.

“They’re aggressive in the way they are pressing, so at this moment they are in really good form which makes it a more difficult task for us.

“The results speak for themselves. They have been able to win games and score goals and play really well.”

Brighton have beaten United twice in the Premier League since promotion in 2017.

Both of those wins came at the Amex Stadium against teams managed by Mourinho.

“The one this season kick-started our season after a poor performance at Watford. Both were very important results. It lifts you as a team,” said Hughton.

“I think we’re better away from home than we were last season, but it’s about getting as many points as well. That’s difficult, particularly against a club like United. But we’re ready.”

Hughton, who does not anticipate making any January signings, expects out-of-favour left-back Markus Suttner to complete an imminent loan move to an unnamed club.

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