Anthony Martial has been backed to become a “force” to be reckoned with by Manchester United team-mate Jesse Lingard.
A promising first season at Old Trafford was followed by a frustrating second campaign, with Jose Mourinho leaving him out of the squad at times.
The United boss made his dissatisfaction clear both publicly and behind the scenes last term – tough love that appears to be having the desired effect with highly-talented Martial.
The 21-year-old took his tally for this campaign to four goals – already halfway to last season’s total – with Wednesday’s man-of-the-match display as United beat Burton 4-1.
Martial produced some outstanding football in the Carabao Cup third-round tie and fellow goalscorer Lingard said: “When he is running at you, any defender is going to be put on the back foot.
“If he continues to do that throughout the season, he’ll be a force this season.
“I thought we dominated the game throughout. With the pace we had up front, we pressed them early on and the early goal helped us a lot.
“It puts them on the back foot and starts us off on the front foot and we wanted more goals after that.”
Martial scored United’s only second-half goal, complementing Lingard’s earlier deflected effort and a brace from Marcus Rashford.
The 19-year-old was deployed in his favoured central attacking position as Romelu Lukaku was rested and impressed at Old Trafford.
“If he plays down the middle, he is bound to score goals,” Lingard told MUTV when asked about Rashford.
“He’s got the pace to beat players and he has got the composure in front of goal as well.”
Mourinho called it a positive night all-round for United as his much-changed side progressed without picking up an injury or so much as a card.
There was also an important 45 minutes for England left-back Luke Shaw, who made a half-time return from the foot ligament issue sustained at the end of April.
“He did very well,” Lingard added. “He came on at a comfortable score, so he’s come into a game where he can get on the ball and make things happen.”
While United displayed their strength in depth, Burton’s nine changes was always likely to make life difficult for the Sky Bet Championship side.
Lloyd Dyer slammed home a late consolation to give the travelling support something to cheer about on the Brewers’ second ever trip to Old Trafford.
“Their quality shone through with £180million on the pitch, never mind what’s on the bench,” Burton boss Nigel Clough said.
“They are always going to carve you open at will and unfortunately scored with their first two shots.
“We honestly thought that playing the team we did gave us the best chance of a result tonight as they were fresh.
“We didn’t sit 10 men behind the ball as we didn’t want to do that. We might as well try and score and create chances.”
Provided by Press Association Sport
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