Jose Mourinho criticises Anthony Martial work rate in Manchester United's defeat at West Ham
LONDON, England -- Jose Mourinho said his change of formation for Manchester United's 3-1 defeat at West Ham was down to Anthony Martial's lack of defensive discipline.
Mourinho dropped Alexis Sanchez from the squad at the London Stadium to include the France forward in his team but said he had to switch from a back four to a back three -- with Scott McTominay at centre-back -- to accommodate him.
"I want to play Martial, something that you [the media] are asking for a long, long, long time," Mourinho told a news conference. "I left Alexis out and I think Martial is not a player very, very focused on his defensive duties.
"I thought to play him as a second striker would be easier for him and at the same time I feel we need quality on ball in the building up from the back and Scott McTominay has that quality with the ball."
McTominay was praised by Mourinho after he ended the game playing at centre-back in a back four once Marcus Rashford, Juan Mata and Fred were thrown on in an attempt to salvage something from the game.
"He is a special character," Mourinho said. "He is a special personality and a team in a negative moment needs this kind of mentality that Scott McTominay has."
After going three games without a win for the first time since December and watching United record their worst start to a season since David Moyes was in charge in 2013, Mourinho was pushed about whether enough of his players have the same attitude as McTominay, who he branded his "best centre-back" on the day.
"Not all of them," he said. "But every player is different, every player is a different person. Scott McTominay is a kid with a special character. He is young but he is brave so he is a special kid."