Mourinho delighted with Martial's improved attitude

Manchester United's Anthony Martial had a frustrating campaign last season, but Jose Mourinho says his attitude is much better this term.

This season Martial has made only one start in the league, but has proved impactful off the bench in United's other four games.   -  Getty Images

Jose Mourinho has seen a "great improvement" in Anthony Martial's "moods" and "body language" and is delighted with how Manchester United's French forward has started the new season.

When Martial arrived at United in 2015, he became an instant hit with his pace, driving runs and goals, scoring 11 times in his first Premier League campaign – including a brilliant debut effort against bitter rival Liverpool.

But the France international was far less impressive last term, scoring just eight goals in all competitions as off-field matters reportedly took their toll.

This season Martial has made only one start in the league, but has proved impactful off the bench in United's other four games and also caught the eye in Wednesday's EFL Cup win over Burton Albion, netting his fourth effort of the campaign.

His improvement and content demeanour has not gone unnoticed either, with Mourinho saluting his attitude.

"I see great improvement in the person, in the moods, the face and in the body language," Mourinho told reporters at his pre-match media conference ahead of Saturday's trip to Southampton.

"What I see? In a word; happiness. He is a happy guy, working extremely well.

"He starts matches trying to do well; he comes from the bench, even if for just 10 minutes like in the last match [in the Premier League against Everton], he tries to enjoy and to give something in these extra minutes.

"I'm very pleased with his attitude overall, and then it is easier to play well."

Martial's compatriot Paul Pogba will continue to miss out this weekend, however, and Mourinho remains no clearer on how long the former Juventus star will be out for.

The Portuguese coach says he is not "going to cry" about it, though.

"No idea [on how long Pogba will be out]," Mourinho said. "But again, it's a great opportunity for other players to play and I trust them all.

"So I'm not going to cry or count the days for Pogba to return. Until he's back, I trust my players."

Mourinho also spoke glowingly of Southampton and coach Mauricio Pellegrino, who, despite enduring a difficult start, the United boss thinks is well-prepared for such a job.

He continued: "That's why he is there; experience as a player, experience as a coach and working with a coach who is as experienced as Rafa Benitez.

"For sure, he prepared himself well for this challenge in Spain and Argentina. And Southampton, to be fair, I have played them a lot in my second spell in England; I played them and they had Mauricio [Pochettino], then [Ronald] Koeman and then [Claude] Puel and now Pellegrino. I don't see many changes [in style of play].

"They're stable in how they play, the quality of their players. It's a good team to be a manager of, very good."

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