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Mourinho insists it’s not difficult to keep Martial on bench despite early-season form

Date Posted,August 19, 2017

After two emphatic wins to top the Premier League, there should be few problems for Jose Mourinho to address.

Eight goals scored, none conceded and with his Manchester United side oozing class, Mourinho is entitled to feel supremely confident.

But after naming an unchanged side for the rout of Swansea, Mourinho is facing calls to make a switch for Saturday’s home game against Leicester.

United striker Marcus Rashford was booed throughout by home fans, who had not forgotten his dive to win a penalty against them in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford last season.

The jeers got to Rashford, who was too casual when through on goal in the first-half, chipping the ball straight to Lukasz Fabianski.

Rashford was replaced after 75 minutes by Anthony Martial, who showed a more clinical edge to score his second goal in as many games and send a message to his manager.

Rashford was seemingly affected by the jeers of the Swansea support (Image: PA)
Martial celebrates his goal (Image: Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images)

Mourinho claimed it was easy to resist the temptation to start with Martial, even though the France forward’s start to the season surely merits it.

Martial has done everything he can to play his way into the team after a frank conversation with Mourinho this summer about his future.

And there is already a clamour among United fans for Martial to start against Leicester, with Rashford unable to match him in terms of goals.

Asked if it was hard to keep Martial on the bench, Mourinho said: “No. We’re using him well and he’s coming with the right attitude. We had a conversation about the future he has here and I think he has a good connection on the pitch with Paul Pogba, with Romelu Lukaku.

“He’s growing in confidence and, of course, two periods of 20 minutes and he’s scored two goals, so for his confidence it’s good.

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“Of course he wants to play, of course he wants to start, of course he wants to be selected for the national team, of course he wants to go to the World Cup, so that’s good.

“And for me it’s simple – I can’t play Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and EFL Cup with 11 players, I need a squad. He’s working really well. Maybe that French language little group we have – Marouane Fellaini, Paul, Romelu – is a group where he’s well integrated now and they bring him up.

“His professional level has improved and he’s working much, much better, so we are happy. We have lots of hopes with him and he can only improve.”

Rashford cut a frustrated figure as he made way for Martial, with Mourinho telling his teenage forward he must embrace the abuse he receives.

“He has to learn how to enjoy it,” said Mourinho. “If he was a bad player, nobody would provoke him.”

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