Manchester United forward Anthony Martial endured a disappointing outing against West Ham in the Carabao Cup, with the Red Devils beaten 1-0 to exit at the third round
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has heaped praise on Mason Greenwood for his impact from the bench against West Ham United.
But the Manchester United boss admits his side faced an uphill battle after failing to score before the youngster was substituted on in the second half.
The Red Devils crashed out of the Carabao Cup with a 1-0 defeat by the Irons at Old Trafford on Wednesday night in which Manuel Lanzini scored the winner.
A rotated frontline of Juan Mata, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard failed to trouble the visitors and it took Greenwood’s introduction in the 62nd minute to address this.
OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Despite Martial’s underwhelming display as the centre-forward, Solskjaer has pledged there will be more opportunities for the Frenchman this season.
But the Norwegian’s latest comments on Greenwood reaffirm the fact Martial is low down the forward pecking order.
“Mason came on and made a positive impact, no doubt about it,” said Solskjaer. “He was fresh, sharp and could have got a goal, but it was too little, too late.
“In the last six or seven minutes of course, we’re going to go gung-ho and they could have scored a couple.”
Solskjaer added: “We didn’t create enough big chances, we built pressure, but we couldn’t [score]. We had a couple of big chances – Mason came on, had a decent one.
“We built pressure but sometimes you know that pressure doesn’t come to anything.”
Greenwood, 19, has scored three goals in five Premier League appearances this season, whereas Martial is still waiting to find the back of the net.
Solskjaer did not want to criticise the out-of-form 25-year-old after the match and simply declared he will “get his chances”.
Should Mason Greenwood start for Manchester United against Aston Villa on Saturday? Have your say in the comments.
“I don’t think it’s right to go into individual performances. Anto was the same as the rest of the team,” said Solskjaer.
“We lacked some of that cutting edge and he knows what we want from him. He’ll keep working and get his chances.”
Recent reports have claimed United are open to letting Martial leave as soon as January, but Solskjaer poured cold water on this speculation.
“I have no plans whatsoever for him to play against us,” said Solskjaer. “Anthony has come back strong and hungry, with the determination to prove his fitness and his quality.
“Last season was a difficult and disappointing one for him and you can see that little bit of grit between his teeth again.
“He is up for the challenge, he is Man United player and we are happy to have him. He has proven doubters wrong so many times.”