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Solskjaer backs under-fire Martial and insists the striker has just hit a ‘difficult patch’

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed under-fire Anthony Martial and insists the striker has just hit a ‘difficult patch’ following his struggles this season.

Martial has come in for criticism following a series of ineffective performances this season with the forward having netted just four league goals for the campaign, last season’s leading scorer having failed to replicate the performances that saw him named as the Red Devils’ Player’s Player of the Year in 2019/20.

After shining in a central role last season, Martial appears to have regressed since, his position under threat from summer signing Edinson Cavani and speculation continuing to surround United’s interest in signing a new centre-forward.

Solskjaer has now come out in defence of the under-fire star, however, and ahead of this weekend’s crucial clash with Chelsea insists Martial is ‘working really hard’ to turn his fortunes around this season.

“Anthony knows what we want and is working really hard to do well for the team. That’s what’s pleasing me every day in training,” Solskjaer said at his pre-match press conference.

“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. Anthony is working hard and that’s the main thing.”

United have a number of concerns ahead of Sunday’s trip to Stamford Bridge with Paul Pogba remaining a notable absentee, whilst Edinson Cavani and Scott McTominay both remain doubts after missing recent fixtures.

Daniel James is expected to miss out after being substituted during the 0-0 draw with Real Sociedad on Thursday evening with a muscular problem.

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