posted on Jul, 17 2003 @ 10:51 AM
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is ready to fill the gap left by David Beckham as Manchester United get ready for the new season.
Solskjaer proved a massive success when he was switched from striker to the right side of midfield last season when Beckham was injured, and may well
find himself handed the role again when United kick off their pre-season tour with a game against Celtic in Seattle next Wednesday.
Solskjaer, who joined United in the summer of 1996, also knows he will have another battle on his hands for a starting place if Brazilian ace
Ronaldinho ties up his move to Old Trafford.
That will be nothing new for the 29-year-old Norwegian who has partnered Eric Cantona, Teddy Sheringham, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, and Ruud van
Nistelrooy during seven years with United.
Solskjaer says he is looking forward to the new campaign, even though the three week trip to America will keep him away from his family.
"I was away with Norway for a month so I have had three and a half weeks off but I am fresh now. The tour has probably been planned for a long time.
The club are looking into different things in America and for us it's probably going to be a great happening playing in front of full houses over
there and we just have to try to enjoy it," he said.
As well as the friendly against Celtic, United will also face Juventus, Barcelona and Team America during their tour.
He added: "It's really important for us to play against the best players. We may not be 100% fit, they may not be 100% fit, but you are still playing
against the best and that makes you a better player. If you don't look forward to the trips, you at least look forward to the game."