Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has called on some of his experienced players to “step up” amid the club’s current injury crisis.
The Red Devils will be without several first-team stars when they welcome third-placed Leicester City to Old Trafford on Saturday.
French duo Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba will both miss the game against Brendan Rodgers’ side with respective ankle and thigh injuries, with Luke Shaw (hamstring), Diogo Dalot (hip) and Eric Bailly (knee) also among the list of absentees.
Meanwhile, Jesse Lingard and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are also doubts after illness and a back problem forced both players to withdraw from Gareth Southgate’s England squad last week.
Although Solskjaer has often showed faith in his younger players this season, the Norwegian could be forced turn to some of the club’s more experienced names this weekend including Juan Mata, Ashley Young and Nemanja Matic.
“Well, you’ve got players who can come in with loads of experience,” Solskjaer said (via the Manchester Evening News ) when asked about the young nature of his sides this season.
“Juan [Mata], Nemanja [Matic] and Ash [Young], who didn’t start the first game and have got to step up and the average age might go up.”
Despite their convincing 4-0 win over Chelsea on the opening weekend of the campaign, Solskjaer’s side have picked up just two points from their last three games
United enter Saturday’s meeting eighth in the Premier League with five points – three behind Leicester – after the club’s worst start since the 1992-93 season.
However, Solskjaer still believes that the club are heading in the right direction.
“There’s always pressure when you’re here, but of course I’m confident in what we’re doing,” the Norwegian added.
“We’ve got a plan and the performances haven’t told me that we need to change direction.
“Results, that’s a different matter, but when you concede three goals from four chances, there’s not a lot you can control.
“They’re games we should have won. We know that, but that’s another matter.
“We can control how we play, how we practise and how we prepare.”