Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Celtic manager Ronny Deila could manage in the Barclays Premier League one day.
The former Manchester United striker returned for a second spell as Molde boss yesterday, just over 24 hours before facing the Scottish champions in their Europa League clash in Norway.
Solskjaer, who was in charge of the Tippeligaen side for three years before joining Cardiff City in 2014, came up against Deila when he was coach of Stromsgodset and his respect has grown for his fellow Norwegian.
The 42-year-old claims the “natural step” for Deila after coping with the demands of life at the Parkhead club would be a move to the top flight in England.
“When you go to Celtic with all the demands and expectations, if you withstand that pressure, I think that gives him a great chance of maybe going to the Premier League one day,” Solskjaer said. “Because that is maybe the natural step after being at such a big club.
“So he can go far because he is an innovative coach, he is enthusiastic and I have got a lot of time for him. I think he has done great [at Celtic]. We have seen a Ronny Deila team playing football.
“It takes time and you need time, but they look like what Ronny did in Norway. You can see the rotations, you can see the triangles, the passing and the movement.
“Of course, there is a demand for results all the time. You have to win the league, win the Scottish Cup and have got to be in the Champions League, although this time around they are playing us.”
Solskjaer insists he will take a back seat for the Celtic game and allow Erling Moe, in caretaker charge since the sacking of Tor Ole Skullerud in August, to try to implement the plan he has been formulating this week.
After a win in Fenerbahce in their Group A opener and a draw at home to Ajax, Molde sit top of the section with four points – two ahead of the Scottish champions.
“I have kept in touch with Erling, who has been the coach,” Solskjaer, speaking at the Aker Stadion, said.
“We spoke yesterday morning before I agreed [to be manager again] and the team he picked is going to be the team that is going to play tomorrow.
“Erling was here when I was here before and he has been in charge for a few months. He is prepared and he took training today.
“I finally got the password for our analysis room so I am going to watch Celtic tonight and tomorrow, but I didn’t want to change too much.
“A new manager is a new thing for the boys to think about, but I want them to play with their heads tomorrow and not with their hearts in a ‘I want to show the new manager’ way.
“It is good to be back at this fantastic stage playing against such a fantastic club.
“I think I know what to expect. It is going to be a tight game. Hopefully we will give them a good game and it will not be me beating Ronny, it will be my boys, hopefully, beating Celtic.”