Martial: Easier to play for Solskjaer than Mou
Anthony Martial has said it is “easier” to play under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer than Jose Mourinho, adding that Manchester United could have an advantage ahead of the Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain because of high-profile absentees for the French champions.
Martial has been key to United’s attacking approach under caretaker manager Solskjaer, who has started his reign at Old Trafford with 10 wins from 11 games. The France international said he has been told to “attack more” and warned PSG that United were a different team to when the draw was made eight weeks ago.
“We have got a coach who has different intentions and we are trying to do what he asks,” Martial, who scored his 11th goal of the season in the 3-0 win at Fulham on Saturday, said.
“Perhaps it is easier to play this style of football and not the style of football he [Mourinho] asked.
“When our new coach [Solskjaer] came in he had a lot of confidence, a lot of determination, and that was really helpful. We are trying to pay him back in kind and things are working out well at the moment. He is asking me to attack more. That is my job, after all, to make the difference to be more decisive. Things are working out well for the other attackers, and I hope we can continue to be as effective.”
PSG, who travelled to Manchester for Tuesday’s clash without injured stars Neymar and Edinson Cavani, lost 2-1 to Lyon in a recent game watched by Solskjaer and assistant Mike Phelan.
“I don’t think we are necessarily favourites,” Martial said. “They have a few absentees and that should be to our advantage, but they have very good players to come in.”
Solskjaer told a news conference on Monday: “Of course, any team that has a missing player like Neymar or Cavani will feel the effect, but that will give the other players a chance.
“It makes it more unpredictable for us because, when you see that front three of the whole season, you know what to expect. We’re guessing a little bit, but we have a good guess on how to approach this game.”
Solskjaer, who has already guided his team to victories at Tottenham and Arsenal, added: “I think the squad is very capable of winning against any opponent.
“When we go into games in the form we are, we are confident — but you can’t look too far ahead we just need to make sure we go through this one and take each challenge as it comes.
“I’ve said to the boys if we keep working every single day in training, concentrate, we can improve and maybe surprise a few people.”
Meanwhile, Ashley Young, set to come back into the team after being rested at Fulham, has signed a one-year contract extension to keep him at the club until the end of the 2019-20 season Young, who moved to Old Trafford from Aston Villa as a winger in 2011, has played the majority of this campaign at right-back, having played much of last season at left-back.
As well as deputising for Antonio Valencia, he has worn the captain’s armband in the Ecuador international’s absence. Young follows Phil Jones and Anthony Martial in penning new deals in recent weeks, with United still working on extensions for David De Gea, Ander Herrera and Juan Mata.