Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has set a challenge to defender Eric Bailly after his impressive performance in the Carabao Cup.
The Ivorian made his second start of the season in the Red Devil’s 3-0 win over Brighton to reach the quarter-finals.
It was only the centre-back’s 88th appearance in five seasons at Old Trafford, picking up four major injuries throughout his time at the club.
The latest was a knee surgery that meant Bailly made his first appearance of the 2019/20 campaign in February.
But the 26-year-old gave a strong performance in United’s back line to keep a clean sheet against the Seagulls.
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And the United has told the defender what he needs to do to secure a more regular first-team place.
Speaking after the cup win, Solskjaer said: “I think Eric played well again, he knows how highly we value him.
“For him now it’s about consistency, performances, staying injury-free, which he has done for a while.”
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Bailly boasts more pace then either Lindelof or captain Harry Maguire, who were the manager’s regular centre-backs last season.
And the United boss has hinted he wants to recreate that solidity this season.
“When you find a team that gels together, it’s easier to keep that team for a while,” Solskjaer said before the game.
“We saw after the restart, I can’t remember how many times we started with the same 11, but that was the team that found their feet and form.
“I’m not going to take anything away from any individual to stake a claim and be a regular.
“It could be a partnership of any two strikers, any two midfielders, any two centre-backs or wingers, but we need to get some consistency in their performances.”
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