Mourinho urges Martial to be more consistent after 'positive' Real showing

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Jose Mourinho praised Anthony Martial's improving work ethic at Manchester United, but insisted that the French forward must still do more following his performance against Real Madrid on Sunday.

Martial created United's first-half goal for Jesse Lingard before firing a penalty shootout spot kick over the crossbar as Mourinho's team won 2-1 on penalties against the Champions League winners.

The former Monaco forward struggled to impress Mourinho last season, raising doubts over his long-term future at United.

But Mourinho claimed in Santa Clara that Martial showed him more of what he wants to see against Real.

"Obviously we want more consistency in his talent," Mourinho said. "I think today was positive for him, that's why I left him for 90 minutes on the pitch.

"He was enjoying it and trying things, it's important to try things in these friendly matches, so it's good for Anthony and his confidence.

"He is a young player, still time to learn, still time to improve, still time to develop, and it's also his personality.

"I can say he is training better than before, he's working harder than before. It's just a question to bring his talent more in a consistent way."

United's goal against Real, eventually finished by Lingard, owed everything to Martial's skill and poise. And Lingard has backed his teammate to carry the form he showed at the home of the San Francisco 49ers into the new season.

He told MUTV: "Anthony's got great feet when it comes to close control and he's got the confidence to do it in a game. It's a nightmare for defenders.

"Luckily I've got myself into space at the back post, got away from my man and then put it away.

"He's only going to get better. He's still young and if he carries on with that confidence in the next few games and throughout the season, he'll help us a lot."

United now travel to Washington D.C. to face Barcelona on Wednesday, with a doubt over the fitness of Ander Herrera after the Spanish midfielder was injured early in the second-half.