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Solskjaer will, however, have an upbeat Phil Jones at his disposal following the defender's commitment to a new four-year contract on Friday.

Jones has 208 appearances for United in all competitions in an injury-hit career but caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backed the 26-year-old to add to that tally in his "prime years" at the club.

Interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his assistant Mike Phelan have brought back the "old school" Manchester United, according to Jesse Lingard. Before the inevitable sacking of Jose Mourinho, United was the top-six side you were nearly certain to get three points from.

Pochettino had seemed to be the obvious choice to take the job permanently when Solskjaer took charge at Old Trafford, Rooney himself backing him for the role. I think we have to let him be free by defending his back sometimes.

"It was good enough but we shouldn't just be happy with just good enough", he confirmed.

Atmar Upbeat About Moscow Talks Progress
Mr Stanikzai said the Taliban had decided in Moscow to meet Afghan political figures who had "manpower" on the ground. He said his administration was holding constructive talks with a number of groups, including Taliban militants.

The priority for United - who will move above Chelsea into fourth if they beat Fulham at Craven Cottage this lunchtime in what Solskjaer called a "character revealer" - is to sign a pedigree centre-half this summer, with Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly among the targets.

"It reveals do we have the focus on what's important, which is always the next game in football".

"So it is just a case of keeping going, winning as many games as we can so we can ensure a place in those Champions League spots at the end of the season". "He's been here so long so he knows what it takes for us to move up the table".

Last week, Anthony Martial signed a new contract until at least 2024 while Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay all agreed new deals earlier this season.

"You've got to catch up with the other teams ahead of us, especially City, Liverpool but now Tottenham - they're really in the running as well. We are delighted Phil has committed his future to the club".


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