Anthony Martial recounted how he was determined to prove Jose Mourinho wrong after falling out of favour during the Portuguese coach's second season at Manchester United.
Martial's United career has been plagued by inconsistency, particularly while Mourinho was in charge.
After a promising debut season at the club, Martial seemed to take a step back during the 2016-17 campaign, starting 18 Premier League matches compared to 29 the previous year and his goals haul also dropped significantly from 11 to four.
Transfer speculation surrounding Martial was rife before the 2017-18 season and he made only three Premier League starts prior to November, but he got himself back into more regular contention, scoring nine times and setting up another five goals.
Mourinho's motivational methods are well-known, as he has never been afraid to criticise his players publicly to get a reaction, and while it seemed to work with Martial, he says he would have preferred alternative treatment.
"It is true that I prefer to be told to my face," Martial told RMC Sport as part of a documentary about Mourinho. "There is no need for it to be said in front of everybody. Certainly, after that, you want to prove him wrong.
"He did not play me during the first matches of the season. Each time I came on, I scored, and he eventually said to me, 'you see, now you understand what I am after.'
"It can sting, but you just want to show him that you should be on the pitch."
Martial started the 2019-20 season well under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but he has struggled to find form of late after being moved into a central role due to the absence of Marcus Rashford.
- Hard-serving Ivo Karlovic officially announces his retirement from tennis
- World team table tennis c’ships: India men edge out Kazakhstan to enter Round of 16
- Former India cricketer Lalchand Rajput appointed UAE head coach
- Take Bairstow out of firing line: Cook urges England to bench the out-of-form batter
- Royal Challengers Bangalore WPL 2024 team analysis: Squad depth, players to watch out, fixtures