Roy Keane heaped praise on Lisandro Martinez for his ‘character and desire’ in Manchester United’s Carabao Cup win over Nottingham Forest.
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United comfortably beat Forest 3-0 at the City Ground on Wednesday night courtesy of goals from Marcus Rashford, Wout Weghorst and Bruno Fernandes.
Though they failed to score, the home side still proved threatening throughout the match, but their forward line was dealt with by the visitors’ impressive backline, with Martinez yet again putting in an impressive performance.
The Argentinean World Cup winner followed Erik ten Hag from Ajax to Old Trafford last summer, but initially received criticism for being too rash and too short to play in the Premier League.
But he has more than proved the doubters wrong since then and United legend Keane has now hailed his impact at the club.
‘He [Martinez] has got pride in his defending. He wants to defend,’ the former midfielder told Sky Sports.
‘You’ve seen his character and his desire. He’s the kind of person you want to be in the trenches with. From a defender’s point of view they’ll be delighted with a clean sheet.’
On the flip side, Keane was scathing of Forest’s ‘shocking’ backline throughout the game, adding: ‘Forest have defended so badly, particularly for the two goals. To concede on half-time was a hammer blow.
‘Man United haven’t had to work too hard for either goal, Forest have been too open. Talk about schoolboy defending after the first five or six minutes.
‘It was very comfortable for United. They’ll be delighted with that. A clean sheet and three goals.
‘Forest lacked quality. They were too open and gave away the goals as such bad times. Man United fans can start getting ready for Wembley.’
United may indeed have one foot in the final but Martinez is not thinking of Wembley just yet, telling Sky Sports: ‘I’m really happy with the job from the guys.
‘We played so good today and we controlled the game. We lost the last game so we had to produce now and as a team we did.
‘I’m really happy because we showed discipline and I saw [for] the whole game we were pretty focused. We have to play always like this, keep going and keep fighting.
‘We know it’s a good result for us but we have to take it step-by-step.’
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