OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER will not mollycoddle his players in the hope of them emerging as Manchester United greats.
Instead, he is demanding they all step up and show some self-discipline to take the club back to the top.
3 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has vowed to get tough on his pampered starsCredit: Getty
3 Man Utd's players are too comfortable, according to SolskjaerCredit: Getty
Speaking from United’s tour Down Under, boss Solskjaer said: “I am old-school, old-fashioned, quite big on self-discipline.
“I cannot spoon-feed all these players, they have got to do it themselves.
“Of course I have had many, many years at this club and I have seen which players and characters who have been successful. You have got to be a strong character to play here.
“It is not like I can tell them to pass from A to B to C to D. They have to make their own decisions — and in life as well.”
Solskjaer cited Roy Keane and Bryan Robson as two United heroes for the current crop of players to try and emulate.
But he fears modern society has made players too soft and the mould that Robson and Keane came from may even have been broken.
Solskjaer added: “In the talks I’ve had with many managers and coaches from my generation, I think it’s a general society thing as well.
“There are less Robbos and Keanos around. It’s the same in Norway.
We’re all too comfortable. Life is so comfortable. It’s easy now. Someone has to step up for us.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
“We’re all too comfortable. Life is so comfortable. It’s easy now — when you’re an academy player you make so much money and think, ‘Well, I’ve made it’.
“And the parents live through their kids. I think that’s a general society thing. I admired Robbo, I’ve heard Gary Neville, Becks all of them talk about Robbo.
“I played with Keano and I think any manager in the world would say I would love to have one who is that type of leader. Look at City and Vincent Kompany.
"He was a fantastic human being, player and leader so someone else has to step up. And someone else has to step up for us.”
Fans who witnessed Robson and Keane must despair at some of the current crop of United players.
Solskjaer believes a title challenge is unrealistic this coming season.
But they have got to at least show they are closing the gap on Manchester City and Liverpool after finishing more than 30 points behind those two last season in a distant sixth.
He said: “If we can get the consistency in the league and get a settled team, I’m sure we’ve got a chance of getting closer to the top two and let’s see how close.
“I am always an optimist so let’s see how we start off and how close we get this season.
“A successful season is if we win a trophy. I believe in these players. They have shown me what they’re capable of.
“They have also shown me some negative sides, which we have got to work on — better habits, consistency in training, which will get consistency in the games and results.
“It was a mentally and physically draining season. Mentally because there were ups and downs and especially when you change manager right in the middle.
“It was flat towards the end and there are many reasons for that. We’ve just got to make sure we get more consistency.
“We want to play on the front foot, but you cannot do that for 90 minutes in 38 league games, that’s hard in the Premier League.
“Many of these players haven’t felt the winning feeling at this club, what it is to be at this club when you win.
“We have a clear aim and want to look a certain way.
“We know it’s going to take time. It might not be a transformation like ‘wow, that’s a new team’.”
MORE MAN UTD STORIESCASH HARRY Spector 'surprised' at Man Utd chasing Maguire as Brits cost 'premium' price Live Blogunited news Man Utd transfer news LIVE – Latest news and gossip from Old Trafford PREVIEW Man Utd vs Leeds United: Live stream, TV channel, kick-off time and team news UNITED STATES How big rivals Man Utd and Leeds could line up in first clash since 2011 Paul the other one Solskjaer tells Man Utd fans Pogba will win them over with performances ExclusiveLUK OUT Inter Milan to meet United's £75m asking price for Lukaku if deal includes bonuses RevealedDEVIL MAY CARE More punters have backed Leicester to win Premier League than Man Utd GossipGunner get ya Arsenal 'have agreed £36million deal' for Brazil Copa America star Everton ExclusiveFRED STILL RED Solskjaer holds talks with Fred and assures him of Man Utd first-team plans Kieran's Top Tier Tierney is 'more rounded' than Man Utd star Wan-Bissaka, claims Lennon ‘SLOWEST 50-YARD RACE EVER’ Solskjaer trolls Beckham as he reminisces about Leeds clashes
Solskjaer identified a lack of fitness as the major factor, something he has been working on out here in Perth with some tough training sessions, often two a day.
He added: “The stats have shown we haven’t been up there, but there’s been a big improvement.
“Like Scott McTominay said, they haven’t had sessions like this the last few pre-seasons.”
It is the "wow" factor that has most certainly been lost from Old Trafford.