OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER has thanked the Manchester United board for staying strong through difficult patches in his reign.

Frank Lampard was dismissed on Monday after the first real tough period of his time in charge at Chelsea, winning just one of their last five in the league to slip down to mid-table.

But while Roman Abramovich’s itchy trigger finger went once again, Ed Woodward and the Glazers have kept their eyes on a long-term target.

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Solskjaer said: “We knew we were going to have some rough and patchy periods and they stood strong.

“I’ve had good backing from the club and the leadership has been very steady which I have been very grateful for because we have been through two or three bad spells of form of course.

“Frank doesn't want any of us to feel sorry for him, I know his character and mentality and I’m sure he'll bounce back and have a very good managerial career.

“He went through a patchy spell, a short spell, not long ago they were top of the league, it’s the first dip of form they really had under Frank so I’m a little bit surprised.”

United meanwhile have stuck to a plan devised to get them back to the top and have not wavered.

It’s the first dip of form they really had under Frank so I’m a little bit surprised

Solskjaer said: “I’ve said it many a time, we looked at the squad, looked at situation we were in and we put a longer term plan in place.

“We knew there would be some patchy periods and that we would have to stay strong mentally.

“The leadership they have shown has been very strong and steady and I'm very grateful for the communication that has been open and honest all of the time.”

Indeed while after a tough start to this season, Solskjaer was odds-on to lose his job, the question now is, with 18 months left on his current deal, when he will get a new long-term contract.

Solskjaer said: “We haven't had any discussions yet. For me, I just keep on doing my job as well as I can.”

Solskjaer’s side take on rock bottom Sheffield United at Old Trafford next hoping to extend an impressive league record.

They have not lost since November 1st, winning ten and drawing three of their last 13 league games.


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