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Solskjaer demanding more from Martial as Man Utd seek to build the perfect No.9

The Red Devils boss knows what it takes to be a striker at the top level and is hoping to see the French forward follow in his footsteps

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits to being on Anthony Martial’s case as Manchester United endeavour to mould the French forward into a fearsome No.9.

The talented 24-year-old now has that shirt on his back at Old Trafford, having inherited it from the departing Romelu Lukaku in the summer of 2019.

Martial considers a central striking role to be his best, but has spent much of his career to date in England operating in a wider attacking post.

He has the perfect mentor in Solskjaer when it comes to the art of goalscoring, with the Norwegian having recorded 126 efforts for United during a memorable spell with them in his playing days.

The current Red Devils boss is hoping to pass on words of wisdom, telling the club’s official website of the progress being made by Martial: “If you’re a wide forward, you’re facing forwards more and running at people.

“Now he’s in a different position, where it is more physical and you’ve got to be stronger with your back to goal and be more patient. It’s your job to be in the box when the ball arrives.

“I’m still at him. I demand more of him. Sometimes, the ball is squared across the six-yard line and it’s where he should be. I just nudge him and say: ‘It should have been a goal for you’.

“Scoring 25 instead of 15 is a big difference for a No.9.”

Martial has netted on 15 occasions for United this season, with the target found in his last three appearances.

One of those efforts helped to secure a 1-1 draw away at Club Brugge in the last-32 of the Europa League, with Solskjaer hoping defensive strength will get the job done at Old Trafford in the return leg of that contest on Thursday.

He added, with his side having kept five clean sheets in their last six outings: “It’s a foundation to build performances from.

“If you concede goals, you need to score more goals and we’ve got many individuals at the back playing really well.

“The keepers, the full-backs, centre-backs and as a unit, we’re getting more solid and more compact.

“When I’m on the touchline, I’m stood watching and not confident until the game is gone and then, clean sheet, and a pat on the back. Concentration and focus. That is what it’s about – in both boxes.”

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