Rashford still learning - Solskjaer backs shot-shy striker

Oleh Dom Farrell 20 September 2019 13
Rashford still learning - Solskjaer backs shot-shy striker

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hopeful the goals will soon start to flow again for Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford.

England international Rashford endured a frustrating outing in the 1-0 Europa League win over Astana on Thursday, with teenage forward Mason Greenwood on hand to bail out Solskjaer's side by opening his senior account in the 73rd minute.

Rashford's only goal from open play this season, alongside a couple of penalties, came on the opening weekend of the Premier League season against Chelsea, but Solskjaer feels the 21-year-old is close to a breakthrough.

"He's getting the chances. He could have had three [against Astana]. The keeper made a few fantastic saves," he said.

"I don't worry about that. We're working every single day in training with Marcus and he wants to improve and wants to be better.

"He could have finished once with his left foot instead of his right on Thursday. It was just one of those days. Their keeper was excellent."

There is an extra burden on the likes of Rashford and Anthony Martial this season, after United opted against replacing Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, and Solskjaer is happy with the results so far.

"All the goals we've scored have come from our forwards, with Marcus and Anthony and Dan James. I'm sure they'll chip in with many, many goals," he said.

"Marcus is still young. He'll improve. You won't hit your peak as a striker until you're 26 or 27. He's still learning what finishes to make in different circumstances."

Solskjaer does not expect Martial and fellow France international Paul Pogba to feature in Sunday's Premier League match at West Ham.

The duo are yet to return to full training following respective thigh and ankle injuries and are sidelined alongside Luke Shaw (hamstring).

James also sat out the Astana game, having sustained a knock during last weekend's 1-0 win over Leicester City, but could return.

"He's not trained the last few days. Hopefully [he will be ready], but not sure," Solskjaer said. "We'll have a recovery day with everyone and then we'll see on Saturday."

United have not won on the road in the Premier League since February but Solskjaer insisted he has no concerns over their away form.

"I think we should have won at Southampton and Wolves. It’s still the same sized pitch – green, white lines, some fans," he said.

"You've got to block out the mental part and play the game as you do in the park."

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Dom Farrell