Tuesday 17 September 2019

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer challenges Sanchez, Lukaku and Martial to resurrect their Manchester United careers like Paul Pogba has

Romelu Lukaku (left) and Alexis Sanchez (Martin Rickett/PA Wire)
Romelu Lukaku (left) and Alexis Sanchez (Martin Rickett/PA Wire)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told under-fire strikers Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial and Alexis Sanchez that they must' do it for themselves' on the pitch.

The trio fell out of favour with former manager Jose Mourinho towards the end of his tenure and the Norweigan has told the pair that he has given them "guidelines" on expressing themselves but that it is "up to them" to perform.

Sanchez, who has not featured for the club since suffering a hamstring injury in November, has one goal in 10 matches this season while Lukaku has found the net six times in 16 games and Martial has failed to nail down a regular sport in the first XI.

"Romelu, Anthony [Martial] and Alexis they were light, light [training] yesterday so hopefully they can join part of the training today and let's see after how they come through," Solskjaer said on Friday.

Solskjaer has been credited with the return to form of Paul Pogba, who scored twice in the 3-1 win over Huddersfield at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

But Solskjaer said: "I cannot do anything for their performances on the pitch; Paul has done it.

"I'm here to keep them on the path and it's up to them when they get a chance - that's the name of the game as a footballer.

"I gave some guidelines of course on expression, freedom of expression but that's how I've always been as a manager - just enjoy playing for this club. That's the best time of your life, but it's not a bad time to be manager for a while."

United captain Antonio Valencia is among those building fitness ahead of the Cherries' visit.

The 33-year-old has only made seven appearances for the club this season and speculation is building over his future, but Solskjaer confirms he will remain as skipper.

"Antonio is the captain when he's proper fit," he said. "When he's playing, he'll wear the armband.

"He's going through a couple of tough sessions now to get him ready for the busy period coming up.

"When you look at him, there are not many more better right-backs going forward with his abilities, so, yeah, you'll see him wear his band.

"Marcos (Rojo) and Scott (McTominay), they look like they can take part soon so it's looking better.

"(Chris) Smalling's got a sore foot so I don't think we'll see him until the New Year anyway - maybe not before Spurs, probably, around about that time but you never know."

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