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Man United's Sanchez can restore confidence with goal at Chelsea - Solskjaer

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MANCHESTER, England -- Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said Alexis Sanchez has suffered from a loss of confidence but backed him to come good.

Sanchez has managed just five goals in over a year and found himself on the fringes of the team since Solskjaer was appointed in December.

But injuries to Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial will give the 30-year-old a chance to start in Monday's FA Cup fifth round clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (live on ESPN+ at 11:30 a.m. ET) and Solskjaer said a goal could put him back on track.

"I think he's a very good player," he said. "He's very talented, but of course there's only so many things you can sit down and talk about and tweak.

"If he could just get that goal I'm sure that would release his confidence. That's what it's about when you go through periods when you don't perform up to your standard, because we know there is a very, very good player there.

"It's one of those things. You tap that bottle of ketchup when it never comes -- but when it suddenly comes, there's loads."

Sanchez has played more than 700 games for club and country since making his senior debut as a teenager, raising suggestions that he has already peaked and may not recapture the outstanding form he showed at Barcelona and Arsenal.

But Solskjaer said: "He's a man of 30, but he can still play for many, many years.

"He's been here for a year, I've been here for two months with him and he's been injured for the first part of it, so it's unfair to just expect him to be at the top straight away.

"I'm sure we'll see the best of him before the end of the season."

Lingard and Martial are set to be sidelined for "two to three weeks," ruling them out of this week's games against Chelsea and Liverpool as well as the matches against Crystal Palace and Southampton and the Champions League second leg against Paris Saint-Germain.

Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku are likely to benefit, with Solskjaer hoping they will be able to fill the gap during a critical spell as United chase a place in the top four.

"We need every player to perform to the best level," Solskjaer said. "We are challenging to be top four, challenging against very, very good teams, so you need the players to step up now and you expect that at Manchester United at the end of the season.

"The players have had this little setback with the PSG game [a 2-0 first-leg defeat at Old Trafford], maybe a reality check.

"There are quite a few, their pride has been hurt. I'm sure they'll bounce back on Monday."