London, United Kingdom | AFP | Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not concerned by Marcus Rashford’s recent lack of goals, pointing to the Manchester United forward’s hunger and determination to improve.
Teenager Mason Greenwood saved his teammates’ blushes on Thursday, scoring in United’s unconvincing 1-0 win against Astana in their Europa League opener at home.
United started brightly but Rashford missed a number of opportunities against the champions of Kazakhstan.
Solskjaer has spoken of his desire for the 21-year-old to score more goals but is not worried that the academy graduate has netted just once from open play in eight appearances for club and country this season.
“He’s getting the chances,” the United boss said of Rashford, who has scored two penalties this campaign. “Of course he could have had three today (Thursday). The keeper made a few fantastic saves.
“I don’t worry about that, no. We’re working every single day in training with Marcus. He wants to improve, wants to be better.”
Asked if United needed more goals from Rashford and fellow forward Anthony Martial, he said: “All the goals we’ve scored have come from the forwards with Marcus and Anthony, and Dan James. I’m sure they’ll chip in with many, many goals.
“He 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 expects to be without Martial for Sunday’s match away to West Ham, along with Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw.
United, fourth in the Premier League table, could also be missing Wales winger James, who missed the match against Astana with a knock sustained in last week’s victory against Leicester.
Defensive problems have dogged United during their winless away run that stretches back to the shock victory at Paris Saint-Germain in March but Solskjaer said he was relaxed.
“Why should we as coaches be concerned? We’re looking forward to things, looking for solutions,” the Norwegian said.
“I think we should’ve won at Southampton,” he added. “I think we should’ve won the Wolverhampton one. Both should be wins.
“It’s still the same size pitch, green with white lines, some fans. You’ve got to block out the mental part and play as you would in the park.”