Manchester United’s French winger Anthony Martial has been transformed under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and now the 23-year-old is hoping the Norwegian will stay in charge beyond this season. Solskjaer took over as caretaker manager following the sacking of Jose Mourinho in December and United have secured 10 wins in 11 games under his charge.
In the latest victory, 3-0 at Fulham on Saturday, the in-form Martial create the opener for Paul Pogba before adding a brilliant solo goal himself. Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League round-of-16 clash with Paris St Germain, Martial made it clear that he would love the Norwegian to stay in charge.
“We have a coach with different approach and we’re trying to do what he’s asking us to do,” Martial told a news conference. “Perhaps it’s easier for us to play this style of football. Obviously, things are going really well, we are really happy. I hope we can keep him, but it is not down to us,” he said.
United brought in Solskjaer as caretaker until the end of the season when they will make a decision on the next permanent manager. There were strong suggestions that an unhappy Martial was ready to cut short his time at Old Trafford under Mourinho but the French international recently signed a contract that will keep him with the club until 2024.
While Mourinho was keen for his wide players to put in plenty of defensive work, Martial has been given the freedom to focus on using his pace and dribbling skills to threaten the opposition. “He asked me to attack more. That’s my job to make the difference and he wants me to be more decisive. Things are working out well for the other strikers too and I hope we can all continue to be effective and efficient,” Martial said.
When the draw was made for this fixture, Solskjaer was still at his Norwegian club Molde but now he has the chance to savour a big European night at Old Trafford. As a player under Alex Ferguson, Solskjaer enjoyed many such nights — including grabbing the stoppage-time winner in the 1999 final against Bayern Munich in Barcelona.
While it would be a remarkable turnaround if United could repeat such success this season, Solskjaer is not in the business of lower expectations. “I think the squad is very capable of winning against anyone and we go in to games confident in our form we are looking forward to the game but you can’t look to far ahead,” he said.
“We just have to look at PSG and take the next challenge as it comes, been pleased with the attitude if we keep working every day, we can improve and maybe surprise a few,” Solskjaer added.