Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says misfiring striker Anthony Martial knows he must start scoring goals again for Manchester United – after Alan Shearer questioned his hunger and desire.
Martial, 25, has just seven goals in 32 appearances across all competitions this season – the majority of which have been as a lone striker.
Indeed, his form of late has been particularly worrying, with the Frenchman scoring just twice in 14 games; a goals return which has led to plenty of criticism.
Alan Shearer has been among those to question his performances, with the all-time leading Premier League goalscorer believing it is a simple matter of not wanting to score enough goals that is holding Martial back up front.
Speaking on Match of the Day over the weekend, he said: “I wouldn’t say it’s a lack of experience. This is his sixth season at Manchester United.
“I wouldn’t say a lack of experience is a problem at all, I would say it’s his lack of hunger and lack of desire to get in there to constantly score goals you need to.”
And Solskjaer, speaking on Friday ahead of their crunch top-flight showdown with Chelsea, is hopeful that his latest warning will help Martial regain his goalscoring gorm.
He said: “Anthony knows what we want. He’s not going to sit down and wait for things to happen.
“He knows he will have to make it happen himself. Everyone goes through a difficult patch. Is working hard and that’s the main thing.”
Meanwhile, Solskjaer also knows that United are approaching a “massive” week that could shape their Premier League season.
Having been knocked off top spot by Manchester City on January 26, a run of just two wins in six top-flight matches means they are now an eye-watering 10 points behind their rivals.
Second-placed United head to the Etihad Stadium for a crunch derby clash on March 7 but first comes tough back-to-back trips to the London to take on rejuvenated Chelsea on Sunday and Crystal Palace on Wednesday.
“We just have to focus and tick one game off at a time,” Solskjaer said. “As you say, the three games are massive.
“We’ve got Chelsea just behind us, we’ve got City away in front of us. Of course we can’t let them run further away if we have ambitions of catching them and we can’t give Chelsea too much hope to catch us either.
“Every game is important and now until the international break will be a big period – six, seven games.
“We always say look at April and May to see how we are then, so let’s get to the international break and then we can focus on the run-in.”