Ole Gunnaer Solskjaer has warned his Manchester United players none of them have a “divine right” to play for the club.
United strikers Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have both plundered 19 goals this season, the best returns of their respective careers.
But Solskajer said he still wants more from the duo and warned any players who rest on their laurels will ultimately end up losing their place.
“You need competition for places at Manchester United,” said Solskjaer, who takes his top-four chasing United side to Brighton tonight.
“If you think you've got a divine right to be playing every game and are doing so well that we're not going to look for players to replace you, you're in the wrong place.
“I've been here myself for so many years as a striker and Teddy Sheringham comes in, Dwight Yorke comes in, Ruud van Nistelrooy comes in, Wayne Rooney comes in.
“We've always got to look at improving and, if they don't improve, we might have to look somewhere else to get better because we have to be better.
“We're too far away from where we need to be and want to be.”
Despite the stark message to his front men, which also applies to other members of his squad, Solskjaer said he has always believed in his strikers.
“I've always had faith in the forwards we have at the club – Marcus, Anthony and Mason [Greenwood],” said Solskajer.
“I think they are boys who improve on trust, I think they're good boys to talk to, discuss and sit with, and they know that I trust them.
“They know I want the best for them, but they also know I've got to make decisions for the team and the club.
“They've all taken responsibility at different parts of the season and I'm delighted with all of them.
“I made the decision that I thought was right for the club early on to give these players the opportunity, and Odion [Ighalo] has also come in and helped us.”
Solskjaer's decision to let Romelu Lukaku leave United last summer has been vindicated, enabling Rashford, Martial and Greenwood to step up and flourish in his absence.
“Romelu's a very good goalscorer, but it was time for him to move on and pursue other dreams,” said Solskjaer.
“It was time to allow our forwards to feel that confidence and feel that demand of playing and being demanded to play every game, two, three, four, five, six, seven games on the bounce – and perform.
“In the end, that's how you get to another level, a different level. I think all three that we've talked about have had a good development this season, but they can be so much better.
“All three, I'm still waiting to see them blossom, because there are parts of their game that they still need to improve on.”
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