Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists that the mood around Manchester United’s first-team squad is now “miles better” than it was in previous weeks and months, due in large part to having been through tough times as a unit and come through to the other side.
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Most notably, it’s Anthony Martial whose mood is most notably improved, and Solskjaer believes that is mostly down to the 23-year-old Frenchman having been healthy and played a run of games in recent weeks. The fact he’s been deployed as a no. 9, and scored goals while doing so, is a fair indicator, according to the Man United manager — quotes from the Guardian:
“I don’t think he has had a long run of games as a no. 9 since he played many years ago [here] as a boy. Now he is maturing. You have to be obsessed with scoring goals as a no. 9 and he is looking more and more like a player who wants to score goals and not just show his tricks.
“For me, he has matured a lot in his behavior on the training ground as well. I believe we will see the best of him in the next few years. He looks happier and seems happy. He is an infectious boy — his smile and sense of humor. You can see he is happy here and that rubs off on everyone and it’s great to see.”
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It’s not just Martial whose mood has swung, either. Solskjaer insists everyone at the club is enjoying themselves at the moment. Whether that is the product or the catalyst of the Red Devils’ recent resurgence (three straight wins across three different competitions) is tough to say. It’s easy to see the good times rolling on once they get stuck inside that cycle happiness.
“The whole mood — it’s miles better on the training ground. They encourage each other. It’s nice to be a coach and a manager when you see them come out and wanting to do extras, so we are improving.
“The group is more ready for tougher times and better times. It’s a miles better group that we have now. The camaraderie, the attitude of the boys, the selflessness, the humility. We are getting closer to what we want to see every day — that culture, the performance in training, the way they prepare for games. We’ve travelled together and seen each other a lot [and] they’ve been disciplined.”
Seventh-place Manchester United will visit ninth-place Bournemouth the first game of the Premier League weekend on Saturday (8:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com).