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 By PA Sport

Paul Scholes wanted Oldham job, open to future managerial roles

Paul Scholes is a boyhood Oldham fan.

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes says he was interested in managing Oldham and has not ruled out applying for more jobs in the future.

The boyhood Oldham fan was interviewed for the position but missed out to caretaker boss Richie Wellens after he oversaw four wins from four matches with the League One club.

Scholes told Press Association Sport: "I had a good chat with Mark [Moisley], the chief executive, and Simon Corney, the owner. Talks went very well.

"I'm sure they interviewed quite a few people. It was something I was very interested in but Rick Wellens had done so well, they couldn't ignore that.

"He's brought a really good style of football, something Oldham fans haven't been used to for quite a while. I lost out but hopefully Rick will take them on and he can be successful."

Since ending his playing career in May 2013, Scholes has helped out ex-United teammates Nicky Butt and Ryan Giggs in coaching positions at Old Trafford before focusing on media work.

He said: "I've done my coaching badges so why do those if you're not going to be a coach? They're quite hard to do.

"I always said if something interested me in the future then I'd look at it. There's been a couple of things that interested me and this Oldham one was the best one that really did get me interested in wanting to be a manager. It got me thinking about it quite a lot.

"It's not happened this time so we'll just see what happens in the future. There's other clubs about."

Scholes is also the co-owner of non-league side Salford City along with his former United teammates Gary and Phil Neville, Giggs and Butt.

But, speaking at an event to mark the renaming of Salford's ground as the Peninsula Stadium, he was quick to reassure joint-managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley that he is happy behind the scenes.

"We've got two very good managers at the moment, they've got a very good team," he said. "So I'm happy enough for now."

Switching gears to his former club, Scholes said he believes United should push to beat their title rivals away from home to give themselves a psychological advantage.

Jose Mourinho was criticised for United's defensive performance against Liverpool at Anfield last weekend, with the game ending 0-0.

Scholes told Press Association Sport: "I think what United have to do is try to find a way to win these big games, especially away from home.

"OK you don't have to win them, you can go to those places and beat them at home, but I think psychologically it's a big boost when you can go to a Man City, go to a Liverpool, go to a Tottenham and win there."

The draw saw United slip two points behind free-scoring Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.

But they are still in a very strong position, with Tottenham three points behind and expected title challengers Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal all seven points adrift of United.

After a dearth of success in the league since the end of Sir Alex Ferguson's reign four years ago, Scholes sees little room for complaint.

The former midfielder said: "It's very difficult to criticise what they've done. OK they haven't played the greatest brand of football but they're second in the league, they've drawn two games and won every other one, they're top of the Champions League group, they've won their League Cup game.

"You can't moan at this minute, it's all going to plan. Whatever way, if United can win the league, I don't think too many United fans would be that bothered. It's been three or four years without even challenging for it."

Scholes believes the return of Paul Pogba from a hamstring injury will provide a natural boost to United's attacking play.

The Frenchman is close to full fitness after more than a month on the sidelines.

"He gives you that balance in midfield," said Scholes. "[Nemanja] Matic and [Ander] Herrera [against Benfica] last night, they're two very similar players, you have to question do you need both.

"If Pogba's fit he comes in and he can do the defensive side and the attacking side better than both of them. He's a big miss and hopefully he'll be back soon and the attacking play can improve."

There have been rave reviews for Pep Guardiola's City in contrast to Mourinho's United, with the league leaders having netted 29 goals in eight games.

But Scholes is not convinced by City at the other end of the pitch and feels it is far too early to assume the title race will be a straight fight between the Manchester clubs.

He said: "I think there's so many good teams. City had a great start last year, this time last year we thought they'd run away with it and defensively they struggled after that.

"Will the same happen again? They've not really done anything different with the centre-halves, we'll have to see how they cope."

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