Man Utd manager Jose Mourinho sets Anthony Martial FA Cup challenge against Wigan

Anthony Martial will start Manchester United's FA Cup tie against Wigan on Sunday
Image: Anthony Martial will start Manchester United's FA Cup tie against Wigan on Sunday

Anthony Martial will earn a Premier League start if he proves himself against Wigan on Sunday, says Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.

Sky Sources understand Martial's long-term United future is in doubt with Mourinho unhappy with the forward's performance against Liverpool.

The United boss subsequently dropped Martial for last weekend's draw with Stoke and the EFL Cup semi-final second leg against Hull on Thursday.

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Jose Mourinho issued a warning to Anthony Martial after he chose to go to Paris for the weekend when he was dropped

Mourinho has warned he has an abundance of options in wide areas and has challenged Martial to prove himself against competition from Marcus Rashford, Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan when he starts this weekend's FA Cup fourth-round tie against Wigan.

Asked how Martial had reacted to being left out at Hull, Mourinho said: "I don't know. I don't speak with the players about how they take it.

"He will play Sunday and if Sunday he plays magnificent, he will play against Hull City the next match. It's simple."

Mourinho will line up against former United reserves manager Warren Joyce on the touchline this weekend, who took over at Wigan in November.

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Martial, second-choice goalkeeper Sergio Romero and left-back Luke Shaw will all start against Wigan - who are battling to avoid relegation from the Sky Bet Championship, but Mourinho is expecting a tough challenge against his former colleague.

"I worked at the club with him (Joyce) just a few months, but it was enough to know a very nice man, a very passionate football man," Mourinho said after Thursday's match at Hull.

Warren Joyce
Image: Warren Joyce left his role at Manchester United to become Wigan manager

"He took the risk, he accepted the challenge, he left a good situation in the club to try to go to what we call 'men's football'.

"For sure he'll come with a very aggressive team, very well organised defensively. Also emotional, like the manager is also emotional.

"We know the difficulty to play against Championship teams. We've played already Wigan in pre-season. Now they are with Warren.

"He knows us well. He will obviously come with special motivation to play against his old club. They will bring lots of fans too.

"So the match is going to be difficult and we obviously have to play with a very good team."

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United host Hull in Premier League action two days after facing Wigan as they begin a congested month culminating in the EFL Cup final against Southampton on February 26.

The Wembley final means United's derby match at Manchester City, scheduled for the same weekend, will have to be rearranged.

Mourinho is conscious of the fixture pile-up approaching but believes it is testament to his side's success.

"It's very difficult. Now we have a problem already, which is the fact that we don't play Manchester City when we should," he said.

"And then we play Europa League. It's not like the Champions League, with four fixtures for two matches. In the Europa League's case, if you progress, there are four fixtures for four matches.

"The week before the (League Cup) final, Southampton, we will play at Saint-Etienne the second leg of the Europa League. If we progress in the FA Cup, another round will come.

"It's really difficult for us. But if it's difficult, it's for good reasons and the good reasons are we progress in competitions."

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