Friday 25 May 2018

Jose Mourinho lavishes praise on 'happy' Anthony Martial as renewed Manchester United striker pushes for start

Things are looking up for Manchester United's Anthony Martial
Things are looking up for Manchester United's Anthony Martial

Mark Critchley

Jose Mourinho has hailed Anthony Martial’s “great improvement in the person” after a difficult second year at Manchester United.

Martial has been largely limited to appearances off the bench so far this season yet has still scored four goals and dazzled in Wednesday night’s 4-1 EFL Cup victory over Burton Albion.

Last year, the former Monaco winger found himself in and out of Mourinho’s first team, as he struggled to regain the form of his first season at the club, when he finished as United’s top scorer with 18 goals.

Ahead of Saturday’s trip to Southampton, Mourinho stopped short of guaranteeing Martial only his second Premier League start of the season, but praised his player’s change in approach.

“I see a great improvement in the person, in the mood, in the face, in the body language - if you want just a word, in the happiness,” the United manager said.

“He's a happy guy, he's working extremely well. He starts matches, he tries to do well.

“He goes from the bench, even it is for 10 minutes like in the last match at home, he tries to enjoy and try to give something in these extra minutes.

“I am very pleased with his attitude overall and then it's easier to play well."

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