'It will never be the same' – Man United will never recover Ferguson glory days, says Saha

The former striker feels the chance of another halcyon period at Old Trafford is slim, but that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the right man for the job

Manchester United may find their way back to success sooner rather than later, but they will never be able to recapture the glory days of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign, according to former striker Louis Saha.

The Red Devils finished 32 points behind Premier League champions and rivals Manchester City this season following a muted campaign that saw Jose Mourinho unceremoniously sacked in December .

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took the reins on an initially temporary basis and after steering United back into promising form – including a Champions League upset against Paris Saint-Germain – he was handed the job permanently.

However, the Norwegian was unable to prevent another late season slump and the club will be forced to contend in the Europa League in their next campaign after missing out on the top four .

Though all three managers between Ferguson and Solskjaer – David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Mourinho – lifted silverware during their spells in charge, both the Premier League and major European glory has eluded them.

Now, with a significant rebuild job on the cards throughout the off-season, former France international Saha says he believes that their current manager can help reverse fortunes – but that dreams of another halcyon period a la the Ferguson era is a thing of the past for good.

“I fully believe they will come back, but you need to understand that in football you might copy it, but it will never be the same,” he was quoted in the Mirror .

“The element of surprise is gone, because you think, ‘Well, we’re expected to do this’. It’s a job.

“United have the back up of having the fans who will always be there so it’s a case of working hard – going back to basics. It’s been painful the last few years, but I’m certain Ole and his staff at the club will provide a really good base.”

Saha, who won played for the club between 2004 and 2008, was a three-time Premier League winner during his tenure, as well as a Champions League victor in 2008.

United begin their pre-season preparations next month with a trip to Australia , where they face A-League outfit Perth Glory and old rivals Leeds United at Optus Stadium.

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