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Solskjaer backs goal-shy Martial to fire again for Man United

·2-min read
Premier League - Manchester United v Southampton

(Reuters) - Manchester United forward Anthony Martial is going through a rough patch in front of goal but manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Friday he was confident the Frenchman will rediscover his form on the back of his unquestionable work ethic.

Martial was United's top scorer with 23 goals in all competitions last season but has found the net just seven times so far this term.

The 25-year-old once again failed to take his chances in the goalless draw with Real Sociedad in the Europa League second leg match on Thursday but Solskjaer is pleased with Martial's recent progress in training.

"Anthony knows what we want and he is working really hard to do well for the team and that's what's pleasing me every day in training," Solskjaer told a news conference ahead of Sunday's Premier League trip to Chelsea.

"He's not going to sit down and wait for things to happen, he knows he will have to make it happen himself and we encourage him and coach him and we know that he's got this quality and class.

"Everyone goes through a difficult patch at times and Anthony is working hard, that's the main thing."

Chelsea are unbeaten in eight matches in all competitions under new boss Thomas Tuchel and have closed the gap on their top four rivals in the Premier League.

United are second in the table -- six points and three places ahead of Chelsea -- but Solskjaer is not taking Champions League qualification for granted.

"I don't think the positions will be decided early," he said. "We've seen teams going through bad phases, then a run.

"Our mentality is really good and we look forward to these games. We know Thomas has come in and it's changed a little bit at Chelsea and it's going to be a great challenge for us."

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)