Anthony Martial believes increased game time at Manchester United and the trust of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer resulted in his most successful season in front of goal.
The 24-year-old ended the 2019-20 campaign with 23 goals to his name to make him the club’s top scorer – one more than Marcus Rashford.
Martial’s previous best season in front of goal saw him strike 17 times across the 2015-16 season after he first joined the Red Devils from Monaco.
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The Frenchman made 10 more appearances this season than the campaign prior and admits that increase, combined with the manager’s faith, played a big part in his strong goalscoring return.
“I think it’s down to the fact that I’ve enjoyed more game time. I’ve played in practically every game and so I think it’s all about consistency,” Martial told the Inside United magazine.
“In previous seasons I haven’t been able to feature as regularly; I’d be on the bench quite a bit and other times I’d be starting, which was quite difficult. Whereas right now I know that the coach has faith in me and I’m confident of starting the next match. So, I’m giving everything I can in order to pay back that trust he has shown.
“[I’m hungry for all goals] because for me, a goal is a goal. So simply by managing to score more of a simple kind of goal, I know that I’ll score a lot more in total. It’s something that we work on a lot in training and I then try and reproduce that in a match situation.”
Martial has struck up a good relationship with Rashford and believes they’re now able to link up selflessly in the final third.
“With Marcus, I think that we’ve been playing together for five seasons now and so, yes, we have that good understanding. It’s a real positive for us that we have this great connection,” Martial added.
“We just try to help each other out. For example, there are some games where maybe a shot is on and then I decide to wait and see, and I give him the ball because I want him to score. And he does the same thing for me, so you see, we’re not just focused on scoring all the time.
“We’re always going to do everything we can for the team to win which means that, if he is better placed than me or I’m in a better position than him, we’ll always give each other the ball in order to score.
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“There is healthy competition, but the biggest thing is the positive rapport that we have with one another.”
Young Red Devils attacker Mason Greenwood has also shown his promise in front of goal over the past 12 months with Martial impressed by what he’s seen from the 18-year-old.
“The thing that strikes me about Mason is how effective and clinical he is. I get the feeling that whenever he shoots on goal, he scores,” he said.”It’s up to us to keep training hard and working to perfect how that trio works together. We mustn’t forget either that there are other players [in the squad] who are pushing really hard to get a game. So, as I say, we need to keep going and have to perform well in order to be able to play and win our games.”
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