Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford
Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskajer has suggested his strikers have lacked self-belief in front of goal in recent weeks, as he set his side a points target to claim a top-four finish in the Premier League.

United take on West Ham at Old Trafford on Saturday, eager to bounce back from damaging back-to-back defeats against Wolves in the Premier League and Barcelona in the Champions League last Tuesday night.

Now former United striker Solskjaer has called on his goal getters Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford to show a more clinical touch in front of goal.

“We haven’t had the quality or belief in front of goal that we should have,” said Solskjaer. “We should have won the league games against Wolves and Arsenal with the amount of chances we had. We’ve been practicing out here, and as a striker I know how important that little bit of belief and trust in yourself is.

“Sometimes you just don’t have that little feel or little confidence, so you have to do it in training and hope that comes out in the games. We have been fantastic, but lately we haven’t been ruthless or clinical enough in front of goal.”

With his side facing a huge challenge to recover from a 1-0 first leg defeat against Barcelona in their Champions League quarter-final, a top-four finish may be Solskjaer’s and United only possible route into Europe’s elite competition for next season and he believes five wins will secure that target.

“We need as many points as possible and I think if we get 15 we’ll be top three because in those games hopefully we’ll beat Chelsea,” he stated.

“Now it’s about West Ham and focusing on a good performance to give us three points. We want top three. Top four is also an aim and 15 points should do that.”

Solskjaer confirmed Alexis Sanchez is back in training following his latest injury lay-off, with the United boss hinting he will make changes ahead of his side’s trip to the Nou Camp next week.

“I’ve still got options of course to rest one or two because there are games coming up and they’ll all play a part,” he added

“We had players on the bench on Wednesday night like Jesse (Lingard) and Anthony (Martial) who normally start games. There will be a couple of changes. Let’s see what we’ll decide on.”

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