Lindelof: Mourinho's coaching has improved me

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The defender was heavily criticised during the early part of the season but has started to look more settled since enjoying a regular run in the team

Victor Lindelof says Jose Mourinho's coaching has improved him as a player and has called his manager 'fantastic'.

Manchester United failed to sign a new centre-back last summer which led to Mourinho hitting out at the club's hierarchy, while Lindelof came in for some heavy criticism during the Red Devils' poor run of form at the start of the season.

Former Liverpool centre-half Jamie Carragher claimed that the Sweden international should not be playing at this level after United were beaten 3-0 at home by Tottenham in August.

But now, Lindelof has highlighted the impact Mourinho has had on him since arriving from Benfica in 2017.

“Ever since I came, he’s been very important to me,” the defender told reporters. “He talks to me, tries to help me, he gives me – how do you say it in English… to improve my game and stuff like that.

“He’s been very important. I think he’s been fantastic and I’m very happy to have him as a coach.”

The 24-year-old has been a regular feature in United's back four this term and he says he has enjoyed a more consistent run in the side.

“It feels good,” he continued. “I’ve been playing a lot of games since the start of the season, I’m just trying to keep on going and doing the best for the team.

“At the moment I feel good – my body is fresh."

Asked if he ever had moments of doubt when he faced such widespread criticism in the press, Lindelof insisted he has always remained confident in his ability.

"No, I never doubt [myself]. I’ve always been confident. You have to work hard, you know.”

Former Arsenal centre-back Martin Keown has also praised the defender's development over the course of this season ahead of Sunday's Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium.

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“There has been a definite improvement in Victor Lindelof," Keown wrote in the Mail. "The centre-back is reading the game better and is playing out from the back with more confidence.

“He looks more assured in possession but how he deals with Manchester City’s relentless attack will be the ultimate test.

“They will pressurise him and try to force him into a mistake by trapping him on his left foot."

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