Solskjaer's dream of silver lifts striker on road back to United

Click to follow
The Independent Football

The injured striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is dreaming of lifting more silverware with Manchester United. Solskjaer has only just started walking again after being forced to undergo a second operation to try to correct a knee problem which threatens his career.

The popular Norwegian striker, who famously scored United's injury-time Champions' League winner in 1999, is already resigned to missing the remainder of the season after making only 18 appearances last term. But Solskjaer is adamant he will play for United again and the thought of another medal is one of the factors driving him on.

"You always need dreams and my dream is to lift a trophy again with Manchester United," Solskjaer, whose last United appearance came as a late substitute in the FA Cup final triumph over Millwall last May, said. "I am starting from scratch and I know I have to do everything right. But at the end of this season I will be looking forward to the new campaign. It feels like this is the start of the rest of my career."

Solskjaer was out for five months in the middle of last season when the knee problem first flared up. He eventually returned in February and played a starring role as a lone striker in the FA Cup semi-final win over Arsenal two months later.

Yet even as he was basking in that victory, Solskjaer knew he was not quite right and by the time he reported for pre-season training, the 31-year-old, a £1.5m bargain buy from Molde in 1996, had accepted a second operation would be required. "I never got back to full fitness after the operation last year," he said. "I was nowhere near 100 per cent fit and I couldn't train every day. That was worse than being out now. At least I have a set target."

Given United's current scoring woes, how Sir Alex Ferguson must long to call on Solskjaer again. Solskjaer has scored 115 goals in all competitions for the Red Devils and is hopeful of adding to that figure before his contract expires in 2006.

After almost three months on crutches, that time may seem a long way off but the laid-back forward refuses to get too frustrated by his situation. "For now my training is Sunday walks with my wife," he said. "Of course it's frustrating. You want to be out there playing. But I'm a person who looks forward. I prefer to think about what can be rather than what could have been."

Comments