Match-winner Martial deserved chance with hard work – Mourinho

The young striker has been on the periphery this season but his manager hinted that he could be back in his plans after meeting targets in trainings

Anthony Martial earned another chance to impress for Manchester United through hard work, manager Jose Mourinho claimed after the Frenchman starred in a 2-0 Premier League victory over Watford on Saturday.

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Martial crossed for Juan Mata to open the scoring at Old Trafford and the forward then added the second goal for a dominant United himself with a sweetly taken finish to score his first Premier League goal of 2017.

Mourinho previously recalled Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Bastian Schweinsteiger after respective spells on the sidelines and the Portuguese said Martial deserved to start against Watford due to his performances in training.

“Martial deserves the chance,” Mourinho told BBC Sport after United extended their unbeaten run to 16 league games.

“He has worked harder than ever in the last two weeks in the way I like – silence but hard.

“In the first half the football was fabulous. The fans got behind the team just before we scored the goal because we were phenomenal.

“When I got the job they were saying at Manchester United you need to play the football in a certain way and I agree. You cannot play a counter-attacking style, but then you have to analyse the situation.

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“People sometimes forget that these teams like Watford and Stoke have very good players. I looked at this team and these players were in Italy when I was in Italy for Napoli, Inter, Lazio. These are top players.”

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Walter Mazzarri felt his side produced a good performance but were undone as a result of their inability to keep possession in midfield.

“Manchester United are very strong, in this moment they’re in great form,” Mazzarri said. “We’ve played well at the start, but we have to not lose too many balls in midfield and this is what lost us the game today.

“We played well, we played well on the ball. We had good possession, sometimes the last pass didn’t go for us, there was a great chance for [Jose] Holebas.

“After they scored for five to 10 minutes we lost a bit of focus and especially defensively we committed some mistakes. Every game gives you an indication of what is positive and negative. There are not just negatives to come from today, also a lot of positive points.”

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