Axel Tuanzebe has said the pressure he feels from working under Jose Mourinho has helped him become a "better player".

Tuanzebe made his first senior appearance of the season as part of a back three alongside Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof against Swansea City on Tuesday night in the Carabao Cup. He played the full 90 minutes as Jesse Lingard's brace in a 2-0 win took the Reds to the quarter-finals.

Speaking after the victory in South Wales, the defender told MUTV : "You are just kind of waiting for your opportunity to play and the gaffer told me earlier this afternoon that I was involved so I was chuffed and I gave it my all.

"Under him [Mourinho], there's a lot of pressure, so you have to perform and dealing with that pressure makes you a better player so I'm glad I've got that burden on me."

The match was Tuanzebe's first competitive appearance since the final day of the 2016/17 Premier League season against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford, after recovering from a back injury, and he was keen to take a cautious approach to the start of the match.

The 19-year-old added: "I've gone a long period without playing football so you just kind of ease your way into the game and build confidence with every touch, with every stride you kind of improve."
He was joined in the starting XI by fellow youngster Scott McTominay - with both
receiving praise from the boss afterwards for their impressive performances - and Tuanzebe felt that playing with other Academy graduates helped him grow into the match.

“It makes it easier to have familiar faces on the pitch and they kind of guide you through it as well," he added. "So you're not the only youngster out there which is satisfying. It’s all about the team and the team performance as well and we delivered.

“There's nothing better than playing for Manchester United in front of a big manager as well at a big club – there's nothing more rewarding as a younger player coming through."

Source links:ManUtd.Com


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