Irwin calls for patience as Solskjaer rebuilds Manchester United

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Irwin calls for patience as Solskjaer rebuilds Manchester United
Manchester United legend and 1999 treble-winning team member Denis Irwin at an event in Dubai on Friday. - Neeraj Murali

Published: Fri 26 Apr 2019, 10:14 PM

Last updated: Sat 27 Apr 2019, 12:18 AM

It hasn't been those glorious days at the Theatre of Dreams in Old Trafford lately but Manchester United legend Denis Irwin asked for patience as the Red Devils go through a transitional phase.
And the Irishman, who won seven Premier League titles, three FA Cups, one League Cup and that Champions League that saw them accomplish that remarkable treble in 1999, believed that fans will go back to singing their official team song: 'Glory, Glory Man United.'
After a dream start to life as Manchester United manager for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, where he won 14 of his 19 matches at the helm, the Norwegian has faced the other side of the coin, so to speak.
Despite that valiant effort against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, it all starting going downhill for the English club with Spanish giants FC Barcelona showing the gulf in quality that exists between them.
And it has been a wretched month for the club and the manager in more ways than one with United going down to City in the Manchester Derby.
As the League hurtles towards the end, United are in danger of finishing outside the top four and a automatic spot in the Champions League.
But Irwin, who made an astonishing 368 appearances over 12 seasons, asked fans to keep the faith and said their remaining three games, beginning with the one against Chelsea, will determine their path.
"Well, it is a huge game for us," Irwin told the Khaleej Times on Friday.
Irwin, now 53, was in Dubai along with another legend Dwight Yorke as brand ambassadors of Maui Jim sunglasses. Maui Jim will be the official vision partner of Manchester United.
"If we don't win this game, I think our hopes of finishing in the top four will be highly unlikely. So, it is a huge game in that respect. Chelsea are a very good side, we know that. Hazard has been unbelievable this year, upfront. But it is a game that we can win. I know we are not in the best of form, particularly last couple of games, probably the month we have struggled a bit. But it is a game that we need to win, as simple as that. And it is more about just getting the results and moving on," he added.
Irwin, who began his career with Leeds United before moving on to Oldham Athletic, backed his former teammate Solskjaer but also warned there were no quick fixes. Irwin said that the need of the hour was patience as Solskjaer rebuilds the team and take them back to where they really belong.
"We have got three big games coming up and we will know where we are. Ole has actually said this, we need a bit of rebuilding, we need a bit of patience. It might take more than one transfer window for us to be up there with the likes of (Manchester) and Liverpool again," said Irwin, capped 56 times by Ireland.
"But we need to be a little bit patient. And football is a strange thing because three or four years ago, Leicester (City) won the League. Who would've thought of that. So, things can change quickly. Might need a little bit of patience but the next three games are very, very important," he added.
Irwin also went down memory lane and spoke about his time with Solskjaer at United.
"He was wrongly called or labelled 'Super sub" because he was a lot better than that," said Irwin.
Fantastic goal scorer and he scored some really important goals for us, particularly that year, and that goal that won us the Champions League in 1999. That will always be part of folklore of Manchester United fans. And I would be forever grateful because to be part of that year and what we achieved was something special," added Irwin.
Teddy Sheringham and Solskjaer scored goals in stoppage time as United dramatically beat Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League at Camp Nou.

By James Jose

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