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09-Sep-2020, 06:25 pm

'Martial has changed' - Man Utd star 'on the right track' after returning to France fold, says Deschamps

Anthony Martial France

Anthony Martial is "on the right track" after returning to the international fold with France, according to Didier Deschamps, who says the Manchester United star "has changed" for the better.

Martial was handed his first start for France since March 2018 in a UEFA Nations League clash against Croatia on Tuesday night.

The 24-year-old built on an impressive cameo appearance during a 1-0 victory over Sweden at the weekend by helping Deschamps' men secure a 4-2 win at Stade de France in a repeat of theWorld Cup final in Russia two years ago.

The Red Devils forward teed up Antoine Griezmann to open the scoring, and proved to be a handful for the Croatian defence throughout the 90 minutes.

He was also unlucky not to get on the scoresheet when his strike right on the stroke of half-time hit the post and bounced back into the net off opposition goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic.

Deschamps rewarded Martial with a rarecall-up after his outstanding 2019-20 campaign at Old Trafford, and says he has noticed a big difference in the way he conducts himself on and on the pitch during the latest international break.

"I wouldn't say that he has undergone a metamorphosis, but he has changed," The France head coach told reporterspost-match.

"I have noticedoff the pitch as well. He is capable of making a difference, very solid. He is on the right track."

Deschamps also reserved praise for Griezmann, who endured a difficult first season at Barcelona and failed to make an impact against Sweden on Saturday.

The 51-year-old said the Blaugrana star was far more effective against Croatia, and was pleased to see him linking up to great effect with Martial in the final third.

"The more rhythm hehas, the better.I suspected he would be much better today," Deschamps said of Griezmann."He has a good technical relationship with Anthony.

"The team needs Antoineat this level."

The Frenchman wasn't completely satisfied with his team's overall performance, however, as he insisted that Croatia were very good value for their half-time lead.

"We lost the duels.We were technically reserved.We made a few mistakes,"Deschamps added. "After thirty minutes, I felt that there was less fuel in the engine.

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