Manchester United’s defence came in for criticism after the poor performance against Liverpool.
Harry Maguire’s absence at the back was sorely felt, with the club captain out with an ankle ligament injury.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is confident in his defenders, and hinted Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof will start together against Fulham, suggesting they simply need more playing time.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Solskjaer is confident he will see improvement from his centre-backs.
Solskjaer said: “He [Maguire] has been the one taking charge off the pitch as well. Now his time is focused more on recovering and trying to get back for the final. But Victor is vocal. Eric has come in and is finding his feet. Of course, the more he plays, the better he will be as well.
“We have not had great results in the last couple but these players have been training together all year. We want to step it up and get momentum going.”
United have Axel Tuanzebe as an extra defensive option, but it does not appear likely he will be a starter against Fulham, with Solskjaer believing Bailly needs playing time.
The Ivorian can sometimes have a haphazard approach which causes supporters to have hearts in mouths moments. On his day, he can be a brilliant, imposing force who attackers struggle to get any change out of.
A clean sheet against Fulham will provide some confidence to supporters that Bailly and Lindelof are finding a little form.
Villarreal will provide a tougher test, especially with striker Gerard Moreno scoring his 29th goal of the season this past weekend.
United will likely do everything possible to get Maguire fit to play. But if he’s not ready, then it is important Bailly improves as his manager suggests.
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