ROMELU LUKAKU says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keeping him keen by treating him mean.
The Manchester United striker scored twice in his team’s 3-1 win at Crystal Palace last night to extend Solskjaer’s unbeaten start as interim boss to 11 Premier League matches.
The big Belgian has started only four of those clashes, including that victory at Selhurst Park and you might expect him to be a bit miffed with his new manager.
But Lukaku has nothing but praise for the Norwegian who looks set to be handed the job on a permanent basis in the summer.
He said: “I like him. He’s really open, really honest in his communication, and keeps me hungry.
“So whenever I get a chance to play I just want what’s best for the team and to help the team win.”
Solskjaer knows all about scoring goals for United.
As a striker – who was nicknamed The Baby-Faced Assassin – he 126 in 366 appearances for the Red Devils from 1996-2007.
Lukaku’s brace at Palace moved him into the Premier League’s top 20 all-time leading marksman on 111 goals, drawing him level with Dion Dublin.
Former Anderlecht, Chelsea and Everton frontman Lukaku, who also enjoyed a successful loan stint at West Brom, said: “It’s really helpful to have him as manager.
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“If you look at my career I’ve always had good strikers helping me, so now I’m here with Ole I’m learning a lot.
“Every day is another day to learn, another day to improve and that’s how I see it.”
Lukaku had not scored in the Premier League for nearly two months before his double against the Eagles.
He said afterwards: “I just wanted to score. I’m a striker so I want to score goals. So I did what I had to do, but in the other goal I was involved in the build-up, and I created a couple of chances against Liverpool, so I knew it was coming.
“So I’m happy that today I helped the team. I’m happy with my goals, happy with my performance, but I’m happiest with the win.
“It was really important for us to win today, if you look at the other teams’ results. We did what we had to do and now we have to keep going.”
United’s chances of finishing in the top four were written off after a poor run of results under previous manager Jose Mourinho, who was axed in December.
But the Red Devils are now fifth, just one point behind Arsenal above them.
Asked for the secret of their success under Solskjaer, Lukaku said: “Desire. The desire to improve and win games.
“It’s always ‘Next game, next game’. We don’t want to be like a couple of teams talking about things and not achieving – we want to do it game after game.”