Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has expressed his happiness with Anthony Martial’s form ahead of his side’s Premier League clash with Southampton. The France international didn’t score in Wednesday’s 3-0 victory over Aston Villa. But he’ll be determined to find the net when the Red Devils lock horns with Southampton in their Premier League showdown on Monday night.
For years, now, question marks have been asked of Martial and whether the Manchester United star is up for the task of leading the line.
However, the France international has silenced his critics with some slick performances of late and has now found the net 20 times across all competitions.
Martial has scored six goals for United in his last 10 matches, including a fine hat-trick against Sheffield United at the end of June.
And Solskjaer has hailed the Frenchman, telling Sky Sports: “I’ve been very pleased with Anthony [Martial].
“You can see his work rate, his foundation.
“There were some stats last season on our strikers, and he’s really taken up the challenge and answered the questions I asked of work rate.”
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Solskjaer also thinks Martial, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford’s hard work during the lockdown period has paid off.
Greenwood has scored 16 goals across all competitions, including three in his last four matches against Brighton, Bournemouth and Aston Villa.
Rashford, meanwhile, is tied with Martial on 20 goals for the campaign.
And Solskjaer said: “I think the front three did a lot of good work in the lockdown to be physically ready.
“They are known as technical players, skilful players, but the first thing we always ask for is that mentality and humility to work hard.
“That comes first, and then all their skills and qualities in front of goal come.
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“They create chances for themselves with their pressing and movement, it’s not just their skills.
“We are trying to develop them [Rashford, Martial, Greenwood] all of the time; this isn’t a one-day thing, or a ‘sometimes’ thing, this is about creating good habits.”
While United are on a fine run of form, Solskjaer feels there’s plenty of work to do if they’re to challenge Liverpool and Manchester City for the biggest prizes on offer.
“Of course, when you keep getting results and you can see progress in the way we play, you are happy, he said.
“Then again, we’ve had to have this run to be in a chance to achieve what we want to achieve this season, because we’ve achieved nothing so far.
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“We haven’t won any trophies. But success going forward is to keep improving the team, keep developing, because it is not the destination that is the measure of success, really, it is what we do.”
Meanwhile, regarding Martial, Jamie Carragher recently criticised the Frenchman and insisted United needed better up top.
“Liverpool possess an attacking trio that is difficult to improve,” he wrote in The Telegraph. “Can we say the same of United?
“I think they need another world-class player at the top end of the pitch.
“Martial’s goal record has improved but I am yet to be convinced he is the man to fire them to a title challenge.”
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