Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed how he intends to restore the ‘X-factor’ to Marcus Rashford’s game.
The Manchester United manager, a famously clinical finisher as a player, has seen glimpses from Rashford of the sparkling form that marked him out as a future star when he emerged as a raw teenager in 2015.
Two goals in the last three games have prompted United team-mate Juan Mata to christen him ‘Wonder kid’, but it hasn’t always been so easy for Rashford during a season when he has often worked hard for little reward.
Now Solskjaer plans to imbue his own experience of the striker’s role to improve the 21-year-old.
‘I went to see the Young Boys game around a month ago and I met him and Jesse (Lingard) just in the corridor as I was leaving the game. And he was all sighs,’ said Solskjaer. ‘He had a few chances in that game and I said, “Don’t worry son, just relax a little bit”.
‘When you’re young you want to rush finishes off and it will be great to work with a potential top striker on his calmness in front of goal.
‘You are excited to be able to work with all of this talent but then going into detail with what I can do best. That was my X-factor, scoring goals. So, if I can help and guide him a little bit, great.’
Solskjaer, who admits to falling back on methods used by mentor Sir Alex Ferguson, will welcome back Alexis Sanchez into his squad to face Newcastle today, a player who has struggled with the weight of expectation at United.
‘It’s all in the head. Know what you have to do and that is the key to everything. Of course it’s videos of good finishes, bad finishes, discuss things and then go out and practise and be as good as you can possibly get. There is always time for another practice session.’
Discussing his outlook during an interview with Stadium Astro, the 45-year-old underlined the importance of psychology.
‘Football is played between the ears,’ he said. ‘You can say 90 per cent is what is up here (in the mind). Talent, attributes, skills, there are so many players around the world who you can pick. But why do you choose him in front of him? It’s personality, that’s one tick. But at a club like this, when you are feeling down, then it is about confidence.
‘We know they have the personality, we know they have the skills, then it is about communication and getting to know each other. Confidence is important.’Daily Mail