Solskjaer backs Marcus Rashford for Manchester derby impact

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised Marcus Rashford and said his team can gain a result at the Etihad Stadium.

Marcus Rashford (left) was "unbelievable" in the contest against Tottenham Hotspur, says Solskjaer.   -  Getty Images

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer encouraged Marcus Rashford to maintain his impressive scoring form as he urged Manchester United to show consistency in Saturday's derby.

United heads to the Etihad Stadium with renewed belief following its 2-1 midweek win over Tottenham but will again be without the injured Paul Pogba, who has not played since September. Anthony Martial will be available, albeit potentially from the bench, as United seeks to make a dent in Manchester City's title aspirations.

Rashford scored both goals against Spurs and has now been directly involved in 14 goals in his past 13 games for club and country, having found the net freely since mid-October.

His pace on the counter will be crucial to United's hopes of breaking down a side that has not kept a clean sheet in eight attempts, and manager Solskjaer backed the England international to continue blossoming as a reliable goalscorer. "He's doing that at the moment," said the United boss.

'Consistently scoring'

"How he didn't get the goal against Aston Villa is beyond me but he's consistently scoring now. It's not like four in one and two or three without. It's not just in spurts and that's encouraging.

"He's consistently getting chances and getting into better positions. On Wednesday he was unbelievable and we want to see that again."

 

Solskjaer sought to extract the same response from Rashford's team-mates after United ended a three-match winless streak with the Old Trafford triumph over Tottenham. United has not won consecutive Premier League matches since March.

"We're going away against arguably the best team in England, so of course it's going to be a difficult game but we need consistency," Solskjaer said.

'Chance to turn doubt into belief'

"I said it before the Tottenham game, everyone was doom and gloom, but it's a chance to turn that doubt into belief and for us, if we can manage to get another performance, the confidence [will grow].

"The way we played against Tottenham, if we can do that at the Etihad I'm sure we can come out of it with a result. People say: 'Why do you not have better results in other games?' But the Premier League is hard, no matter who you play, it's margins. I think it's a compliment to the league."

Solskjaer said he hoped midfielder Pogba would return from his long-running ankle injury before the end of December.

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