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Woodward backs Solskjaer after 'turbulent season' season

United will be absent from the Champions League next season after a fraught 2018-19 Premier League campaign in which they settled for an underwhelming sixth-place finish. The executive vice-chairman recognised the upheaval at Old Trafford, where Jose Mourinho was replaced by Solskjaer in December following modest results and months of alleged acrimony between the Portuguese and a number of his players. Solskjaer's instalment on an interim basis saw an initial improvement on the field, although shortly after the Norwegian's appointment as permanent manager United's season ran out of steam and they missed out on qualifying for Europe's elite club competition. However, Woodward revealed that the club's strong financial position will enable them to 'provide a solid foundation for the manager' ahead of what is expected to be a busy summer for the club. Woodward said: 'After a turbulent season, everyone at Manchester United is focused on building towards the success that this great club expects and our fans deserve. 'Preparations for the new season are under way and the underlying strength of our business will allow us to support the manager and his team as we look to the future.' Woodward added in a conference call to talk about United's earnings report: 'The season that has just ended clearly didn't end the way we hoped, finishing in sixth place and with a disruptive managerial change part way through. 'However, Ole and the squad battled back from mid-December to put us in contention to qualify for the Champions League next season, but ultimately we came up short. 'While the last few weeks were disappointing, we are delighted to have confirmed the appointment of Ole as our manager on a three-year contract, and to have recently confirmed the key members of the coaching team. 'Mick Phelan, Michael Carrick, Kieran McKenna and Mark Dempsey will all be remaining at the club. 'Everyone at the club - the board, the manager, the squad and all the staff are resolute in our desire to get United back to the top of English football. We continually look to improve staff on and off the pitch to achieve this. 'The strength of our business means we have the financial resources to continue to provide a solid foundation for backing the manager and creating success on the pitch. This, as ever, remains our number-one goal.'

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