Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits he will find it a wrench to leave Manchester United if he is forced to move on at the end of the season.
The Norwegian became the first United boss to win his first four league games in charge since Sir Matt Busby after second-half goals from Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford earned a 2-0 win at Newcastle to close the gap with the top four to six points.
Solskjaer, who is still under contract at Molde, has been handed the job until the end of the season but has hinted he would like to stay on.
“Of course I won’t, I don’t want to [leave],” Solskjaer told a news conference at St James’ Park. “It’s such a great bunch of players, atmosphere, but it’s the next game, it’s the next game, it’s the next game, and I’m doing my job as long as I’m here.”
United have beaten Cardiff, Huddersfield, Bournemouth and Newcastle since Solskjaer took over from Jose Mourinho.
All four teams occupy places in the bottom half of the table and with a trip to Tottenham to come on Jan. 13, the interim boss accepts bigger challenges lie in wait.
“We’ve played teams in the lower half of the table but these games need to be won,” said Solskjaer.
“You can’t beat anyone else other than the team you’re playing and the performance today was really professional.
“To come here against a club like this with the fans they’ve got, it was excellent.”
Victory at St James’ Park was inspired by Marcus Rashford, who set up the first when Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka spilled his fierce free kick and then scored the second with a cool finish 10 minutes from time.
Rashford kicked-off the post-Mourinho era with a free kick after three minutes against Cardiff and Solskjaer suggested the 21-year-old’s technique has been inspired by another of the club’s former greats.
“His free kicks, that was what started it against Cardiff, and then he does it again,” said Solskjaer.
“He’s got a great hit. He must have been watching Cristiano [Ronaldo] when he was practising.
“He gets kicked and he gets tackled, he goes for headers, he challenges, he runs.
“He is going to be a top, top No. 9, definitely. But then we’ve got Rom, so sometimes he’ll play on the right, sometimes on the left, sometimes through the middle, he’ll get enough games.”