OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER expects great things from Anthony Martial, after he showed he was ‘bruised’ but not battered by his slow start to the season.
Solskjaer feels the sky’s the limit for the French striker, now that he has proved he can combine a high workrate with his undoubted skills.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expecting big things from Anthony Martial in 2021Credit: Getty
The Manchester United boss said Martial ran himself into the ground in the 6-2 win against Leeds, but still had plenty in the tank when he was sent on as a sub to score the second goal in the Carabao Cup win at Everton.
And he believes now Martial has finally shown he has a powerful engine to go with his high level of performance, he is going to prove an even more valuable asset.
Solskjaer explained: “Anthony has made some important contributions lately – assists, he’s scored goals, and he’s getting fitter, as he showed against Leeds.
“And he knows that I’m going to be on to him about it now .His running stats from that game sets a new standard for him, which I want to see more often from him.
“He’s always going to have the quality. Maybe his confidence was bruised a little by what happened early on in the season with the red card, and he’s had some criticism.
“But he’s going to get better and better from now on. When we get Marcus Rashord, Mason Greenwood and Anthony firing on all cylinders together, we’ll be an even bigger threat to other teams.”
Solskjaer’s team head to Leicester today with the United boss keen to maintain an incredible run that has seen them remain unbeaten on their travels in all domestic competitions since the middle of January.
But he is not so keen on stretching another remarkable sequence – United have won all six away games in the Premier League this year despite conceding the first goal every time.
Asked if he was surprised at how effective his team have been outside Old Trafford, Solskjaer replied: “Why should I be?. We go into every single game thinking we can win it, so if it’s home or away it doesn’t really matter at the moment.
“It’s not like it used to be a year ago – you only get a few fans at certain games, so it doesn’t feel so different..
“But we know it is going to catch up with you if you keep giving teams the lead. And Leicester are one of those teams you definitely don’t want to give a one or two goal lead.
“They have got so many players who are really good on the transition. They can play on the break, and if you are chasing the game you can easily end up conceding two, three four.
“The first goal in any game is a very important one. So we have to start as well as we did against Leeds and against Everton. We started off excellent in both those games..
“We have had some very good games against Leicester, some very tight games. They are a very good side with a really astute coach, and I’ve enjoyed watching them under Brendan.
“It was a good test to go down to their stadium at the end of the summer and we passed that one with flying colours. We really played a controlled game
“It’s a different time of the season now, but we have to be just as aware that they have some threats that we have to look out for.”
Another good away day will push United right into the title reckoning, and Solskjaer is pleased his team are being seen as contenders again after a scratchy start to the campaign.
“It’s not something we talk about, but there’s always noise around Man United anyway.” he said.
“For us, it’s just about improving as a team, taking one game at a time. We have to. That’s the only way you will challenge for anything.
“The only thing we talk about and focus on is improving day by day, how to deal with certain situations, and maybe now, at the moment, we’re getting praised. And that’s nice.”
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