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  • Antony: Critics Push Me To 'Work Harder' For Man Utd

Antony: Critics push me to 'work harder' for Man Utd

Antony insists his critics are motivating him to prove himself as an important player for Manchester United as they aim to finish a tumultuous season on a high.

This has been a poor campaign for all connected to the Old Trafford outfit, who exited Europe before Christmas and are almost certainly going to miss out on Champions League qualification.

United face a fight for sixth spot and stumbled to a 1-1 home draw against relegation-battling Burnley on Saturday, when Clarets substitute Zeki Amdouni's spot-kick cancelled out Antony's late effort.

It was a first Premier League goal in a poor campaign for the £84.8million winger, who is among a number of players to have underperformed in a season to forget for the Red Devils, but could yet yield silverware with the FA Cup final against Manchester City to come.

"It's been a very tough year for me and the team," Antony, 24, said. "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 (FA Cup) final, but then we need to focus on the next season and not commit the mistakes we've committed this year."

An eye-watering injury list offers some mitigation for United, where the future of key personnel - from Ten Hag to his players - is under the spotlight as Ineos look to turn things around.

They took control of football operations as part of Sir Jim Ratcliffe's minority takeover deal and immediately highlighted player trading as an issue requiring improvement.

The deal that brought Antony from Ajax in 2022 will have surely raised eyebrows at Ineos, with United having committed to paying £80.6m with a further £4.2m possible in add-ons.

The price tag has been brought up frequently during the Brazil winger's slow first season at Old Trafford and a disappointing second in which he has faced allegations of abuse that he has always strongly denied.

Antony said: "(The transfer fee) doesn't really impact me because I know my worth.

"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."

Antony, Ten Hag and the rest of the team have the chance to change the mood heading into a big summer by winning May's all-Manchester FA Cup final.

The Red Devils lost 2-1 to City in last year's Wembley showpiece and the winger knows they need to improve if they are to add to their 2023 Carabao Cup triumph.

"We know we have a final and we want to win it, but we need to get better in order to do so," Antony said.

"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."

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