Martial wants wins, not records

LONDON • Manchester United forward Anthony Martial could make history against Sunderland today.

But his manager Louis van Gaal believes the Frenchman is unaware of the records he could break against the English Premier League's bottom dwellers.

The 19-year-old has enjoyed a dream start to life at Old Trafford, scoring three times in the league and once in the League Cup since his move from Monaco this month.

If he scores against the Black Cats - who have conceded 20 times in eight games this season - Martial could be the first United player to score in his first three Premier League games. He could also become the first player in 43 years to score in first three league appearances for United. Not since forward Ian Storey-Moore in 1972 has a player achieved that feat.

Not that Martial knows any better, according to van Gaal.

"He doesn't read the papers. Maybe he hears it from his team-mates but I don't think they would tell him he can break a record," the Dutchman said yesterday. "His personality is that he's open, he's listening, he's watching, he's focusing on winning matches, that I can see."

With 10 goals in their last four matches in all competitions, United appear to have their attacking game going. In defence, however, van Gaal is facing a crisis at left-back.

United are already without Luke Shaw who is out with a broken leg.

His replacement, Marcos Rojo, is sidelined with a hamstring injury, leaving Daley Blind as the only left-footed defender.

Paddy McNair is also an injury doubt, making Ashley Young an option at left-back, where the winger featured against Ipswich in the League Cup on Wednesday.

Recent form suggests Sunderland will pose little threat to United's defence though. They have failed to win in the league this season.

Dick Advocaat will make several changes to the side out-classed by Manchester City in the League Cup on Tuesday. Goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon and Younes Kaboul are available after serving suspension while midfielder Lee Cattermole are among those set to return to the starting line-up.

Advocaat is also considering whether to switch England midfielder Jack Rodwell to centre-back in a bid to strengthen the backline.

"I have thought about moving Rodwell into defence because he is good in the air and has got two good feet," he said. "He is what I am looking for in terms of being able to find his team-mates with a pass."

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MANCHESTER UNITED V SUNDERLAND

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2015, with the headline 'Martial wants wins, not records'. Print Edition | Subscribe