Neil Warnock comes up against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Saturday believing the Norwegian can count himself fortunate to be the interim Manchester United manager.
But Warnock still believes the former United hero could make the most of the surprise opportunity to succeed the sacked Jose Mourinho and become a permanent fixture at Old Trafford next summer.
“I bet Ole can’t believe his luck,” Cardiff manager Warnock said at his pre-match press conference.
“I think it’s the best job Ole will have in his life, because he can’t lose really.
“He’ll hold the fort until the end of the season, he’s there for at least six months and if he does well he’ll get a couple of years.
“And if he doesn’t, he goes back to where he was enjoying it anyhow.”
Norwegian club Molde have allowed Solskjaer to make the temporary switch to Old Trafford, with United expected to appoint a more experienced manager in the summer.
The 45-year-old has had success in his native Norway, but his only previous experience of managing in the Premier League proved to be a disaster.
Solskjaer spent an ill-fated nine months at Cardiff in 2014 when the Bluebirds suffered relegation and were 17th in the Championship when the former striker was sacked.
Asked about the possibility of Solskjaer receiving a hostile reception from Cardiff fans on Saturday, Warnock said: “I think that will drive his new players.
“I don’t see anything in that. He tried his best, he was a young manager and he obviously made mistakes that I’m sure he’s learned from.
“He’s had a really good time where he’s comfortable at home, and he’s been given an opportunity that he could never have dreamed of.
“He won’t have believed the phone call he got (from Manchester United) originally, and he’ll still be on cloud nine.”
Warnock expressed sympathy for Mourinho, whose two-and-a-half-year reign came to an end on Tuesday with United sixth in the Premier League and a distant 19 points behind leaders Liverpool after 17 games.
The veteran Cardiff boss, a friend of Mourinho, suggested player power was a key part in the Portuguese’s downfall at Old Trafford.
Mourinho had public fall-outs with France stars Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial and Warnock said: “I’ve got a lot of time for Jose, but sometimes you go to a club and it’s not the right one.
“But probably the worst part of football management is player power. It’s terrible and happened to me twice, at Crystal Palace and QPR. I remember one day not wanting to get out of bed.
“You can’t really win and you have to leave I’m afraid. I’m fortunate in a way that I don’t deal with the top players, and I get my satisfaction from working with a good group of lads.”