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Ed Woodward decided against ‘awkward’ move before appointing Michael Carrick

Ed Woodward sits in stands at Manchester United. TEAMtalk

Manchester United’s board decided against handing Darren Fletcher the interim boss role following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s departure, according to the report.

Solskjaer was removed from his position on Sunday after a run of seven defeats in 13 games in all competitions. Heavy defeats to Liverpool and Manchester City had ramped up the pressure on the Norwegian and Sunday’s 4-1 reverse at Watford was his final act.

The former Molde coach was emotional, but left with dignity and with his head held high. But ultimately the poor performances put paid to him seeing out three years in charge at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer, who reportedly refused to replace any of his coaching staff in the run up to his sacking, left alone. All his coaching staff remain in situ, including technical director Fletcher.

The Athletic say the former United midfielder was in contention to take the caretaker role. However, Ed Woodward decided against the move which would have been a potential conflict of interest.

Fletcher, who took on the role eight months ago, should be one of the key players evaluating the manager’s position. Similarly he will also be integral in the hunt for the long-term replacement for Solskjaer.

Therefore Woodward believed Fletcher’s appointment would have “awkward” look.

With that in mind, Michael Carrick was handed the stop-gap role.

Carrick, 40, was Solskjaer’s No.2 and was and remains fiercely loyal to Solskjaer.

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At his first press conference in the hot seat, Carrick sent a parting message to Solskjaer. “First of all it’s been an emotional time for everyone at the club,” he said (via Manchester Evening News). “I worked with Ole for three years and known him for a lot longer.

Carrick concerns after ignoring Fletcher

“Knowing the person that he is, the values that he has, how he treats people. To see him lose his job was tough for me and a lot of people at the club.

“I think you can tell from the emotion yesterday what he meant to everyone. Results are everything and as much as you build the right environment, you don’t get what you deserve. A massive thank you from us all.”


Meanwhile, concerns have been raised that former Spurs midfielder Carrick might prove to be too similar to Solskjaer.

Carrick will be able to call on help from all of Solskjaer’s staff. Coaches Mike Phelan, Martyn Pert and Kieran McKenna all remain. And goalkeeper coaches Richard Hartis and Craig Mawson and set pieces coach Eric Ramsay are also still with the club, at least for the time being.

Asked whether he would make changes for Tuesday’s date in Spain with Villarreal, Carrick said: “We will have to wait and see really.

“I worked with Ole closely, similar beliefs as a coach and manager. But I’ve got my own personality but it is very similar because that is why we worked together.”

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