‘Martial is lucky’: Van Gaal tempers expectations on new Manchester United star

Louis van Gaal says Manchester United striker Anthony Martial must learn how to cope with the pressure following his strong start in English football.

The £36million deadline day signing has scored four goals in four matches for the Red Devils this season, and is expected to start tomorrow against Sunderland at Old Trafford.

Martial netted twice in last Sunday’s 3-2 win against Southampton as well as adding United’s third against Ipswich in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night – but his manager claims luck has also contributed to his impressive start.

“He has settled in so well because of some luck. Of course he has a lot of quality too, but you need some luck,” said Van Gaal.

“Plus the teams we have played have been lucky for him, as they have had to come [and attack].

“Against Ipswich and Liverpool, he was lucky like this.

“As a player, he has to cope with the pressure. From what we have seen up to now, he can do it.

“But he must get used to living here, in a new house, and with things like coming home and doing his shopping.”

Should Martial score against the Black Cats he will become the first United player since Ian Storey-Moore in 1972 to find the net in his first three league games, but Van Gaal insists the striker is not concerned about breaking records just yet.

“I don’t think he is under pressure or worried about records, as he doesn’t read the papers,” he said.

“But he is an intelligent guy and he is listening, and he is focusing on the matches. He is a very coachable player, and that is part of why I like him, and why I bought him.”

With Sunderland rooted to the bottom of the table, United go into Saturday’s game as firm favourites and the tie pits Van Gaal against another former Netherlands coach in Dick Advocaat.

The Sunderland boss is still chasing a first league win this season but has only been defeated to a side coached by Van Gaal once in ten meetings.

“I feel for Dick as a human being, he is a friend and we played together at Sparta Rotterdam,” said the Dutchman about his compatriot.

“So I hope he and Sunderland win every game other than those against Manchester United!”

The United manager has a selection dilemma in defence with Marcos Rojo and Paddy McNair both ruled out with injury.

Ashley Young deputised at left-back against Ipswich in midweek but Daley Blind is likely to provide cover there tomorrow with Phil Jones returning to central defence.

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