Mourinho was relieved of his duties on Tuesday after two-and-a-half years in charge at Old Trafford, with Solskjaer being brought in the following day to rescue United’s season after a dismal start.
The Norwegian made a fine start to his managerial career when his United side thrashed Cardiff 5-1 on Saturday and the players spoke in glowing terms about his effect on squad morale.
And former United defender Neville believes the frosty atmosphere at the club meant the club had no option but to act.
“You can see Manchester United have made an appointment to create a happy ship and make sure someone who came in had respect through the whole club and knew the whole club and could connect the club,” he said, speaking on the Gary Neville Podcast.
“There’s no doubt it was an unhappy place. There were obvious tensions with certain players that became public, then the fans were going to the stadium feeling like every game was a crossroads or one minute away from something big happening, so it wasn’t a huge shock.”
It was the first time the Red Devils had scored five goals in the Premier League since Sir Alex Ferguson’s final game in charge five years ago.
But Neville warned the players not to get carried away after their emphatic victory.
“There was an immediate bounce and impact from Ole, however it was Cardiff and we need to see if they can do it over six months,” he added.
“If they can do that then they will get the opportunity to play for the club next season. If they do it over six games and then drop back they won’t play for the club next season.
“The most important thing for Manchester United is sailing the ship into shore calmly, with some people needing to disembark and not come back, and some needing to come on and sail out to seas in the future. That’s the nature of the next six months.
“The hard work starts now for United. Anybody who thinks sacking Jose Mourinho is the answer, it is not, the hard work starts now and I am sure the people in the club are wise enough and knowledgeable to know that.”
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