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Antony speaks out on criticism he has received at Manchester United

 


Antony scored his first Man United league goal in 377 days against Burnley but they failed to hold on for the win at Old Trafford.

Antony insists he has no issue with the criticism he has received during his time at Manchester United.


The 24-year-old scored his first Premier League goal in 377 days to put United 1-0 up against Burnley only for the 19th-placed side to claim a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.


United agreed an £86.3million fee with Ajax for Antony on transfer deadline day in September 2022 but he has endured a tumultuous time at the club, particularly this season.


The Brazil international took a leave of absence in September to address allegations of domestic abuse in England and Brazil and he has struggled to perform since his return in October.


Antony has contributed three goals in 36 appearances this season and he has not played for Brazil in over a year. “It doesn't really impact me because I know my worth," Antony said in the Old Trafford mixed zone.


"The money is the money and obviously everyone speaks about it but no one would if the performances of everyone and myself were at the top.

"So it's something that is just a way of working harder, knowing I can get better. I know my worth and I will. As I said, the critics are going to exist and it’s something that makes me want to work harder, prove to myself first.


"I’m going to keep working, giving everything for the group because it’s most important to have a good mentality and to be focused.


"It's been a very tough year for me and the team. The results are not ones we have expected. I am someone who takes criticism very well and I want to work on it and I think we all have to focus on finishing the season the best as we can.


"We still have a few Premier League games and the final, but then we need to focus on the next season and not commit the mistakes we've committed this year."


United manager Erik ten Hag brought Antony to Ajax from Sao Paulo in 2020 and pushed to be reunited with the winger during his first summer in Manchester. Ten Hag's position is uncertain with United certain not to qualify for the Champions League but they could end a fraught campaign with FA Cup glory if they beat City in the final on May 25.

The manner of United's progression in the semi-final shootout success over Coventry was widely pilloried and United have won two of their last nine Premier League games.


"We know we have a final and we want to win it but we need to get better in order to do so," Antony stressed. "We still have five games and we have to think game by game, getting better and get the best way into the final possible and win it.


"Very sad [at] the result (against Burnley). It's going to be a very tough night especially because we conceded a goal in the last minutes and it's not possible to be [happy] like this.


"I'm someone who thinks a lot of the group, with a win I would be very very happy. To score a goal I'm happy about that, but only partially happy, unfortunately."


Antony raised a Sonic the Hedgehog plush toy in celebration against Burnley and placed the ball under his shirt in tribute to his son, Lorenzo, and pregnant partner, Rosilene Silva.


"Sonic is for my son," Antony smiled. "He's a big fan of Sonic. My videographer brought Sonic on purpose because he thought I was going to score today. And then I'm waiting for a little girl as well, so the ball under the shirt is that."


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