Solskjaer: Greenwood knows why he hasn't played as much
(Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned teenager Mason Greenwood to 'change his attitude to training' if he wishes to be a Manchester United regular.

Fans have been crying out for the 18-year old star to be played more often, given United's lack of options up top.

But Solskjaer told the Sun: “He knows why he hasn’t played as much.”

The reason for that lies behind what Solskjaer's witnessed at Carrington on the training ground rather than  Old Trafford.

That remains the reason the 18-year-old striker therefore missed a chance to step into the breach while Anthony Martial has been out on the sidelines due to injury.

Maturation 

Solskjaer added: “He needs to learn the man’s game. He’s gone up from the under 18s last year, now he’s training with the first team every day and you can’t just turn that switch on and off.

“You’ve got to perform every day if you are going to be accepted by a group like this.

“If he’d really stamped his authority in training every single day and been the best option he would have played every game.”

In a bid to keep the young player grounded, Solskjaer dropped Greenwood back into the under-23s at the end of last month for a Leasing.com EFL Trophy tie away to Doncaster.

The youngster responded by scoring an injury-time winner in a 2-1 victory. 

Greenwood followed that up on Thursday night with the opening goal in United's 3-0 win over Partizan Belgrade.

Both goals he dedicated to his Grandmother, who recently passed away.

Greenwood now has three goals to his name in four first-team starts, but they've come in the Europa League and the Carabao Cup and he is yet to get a place in the first eleven in the Premier League.

Solskjaer insists that even at a time when United are crying out for goals, he needs to see more evidence that the time is right for him to become a first-team regular.

Solskjaer said: “I’m managing for Man Utd, I’m not managing for me. I am managing for the way we can get the best out of Mason.

“He is going to have a very big career, but sometimes it is not the right time to play him.

“It’s always been in our philosophy and my philosophy to give young players with the right attitude a chance and if that takes a couple of years for him to really, really come through, it’s worth it for us.

“As a young boy you expect ups and downs and he’s had some downs. But I think he is on his way up again.”

There's plenty of praise from Solskjaer for Greenwood too.

The United boss has described the 18-year old star as the best finisher at the club.

Then after Thursday’s win over Partizan Belgrade, he was asked if the young forward reminded him of former-Arsenal and United legend Robin van Persie.

Natural ability

“It's natural to him. Right foot, left foot – I don’t think he still knows which is the best one.

“That is very difficult for defenders to defend against. He’s doing his finishing practices in training. I can see it every day.

“Then the good thing is he can do it at Old Trafford in front of a full crowd. He doesn’t get fazed by the occasion. He’s still composed.

“Whether it’s a game with his mates in the park or a cup final he will still finish the same.”

Still, Greenwood can expect to be back in the dugout for Sunday's visit of Brighton at Old Trafford. 

“They have loads of footballers who are comfortable on the ball." Said Solskjaer.

“The last four games they’ve really, really turned a corner for me and are dominating teams, controlling games. Even the defeat against Villa they were drawing that until the sending off.

“The last four I count as wins for them really. We’ve got to have loads of energy to go about pressing them because we can’t let them be confident here at Old Trafford.”

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