Manchester United manager David Moyes has advised teenage sensation Adnan Januzaj that he should stand up to tough-tackling Premier League opponents.
The 18-year-old Belgian-born winger has been the victim of some strong challenges by defenders since scoring twice on his Premier League debut against Sunderland.
Januzaj was at the centre of a scuffle during the latter stages of United’s 3-1 win at Craven Cottage on Saturday when Fulham defender Sascha Riether appeared to stamp on the young playmaker.
The incident was missed by referee Lee Probert but fellow Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini reacted furiously claiming: “For me it was a red card for the right-back”.
Moyes also missed the confrontation, but urged Januzaj to stand up to his hard-hitting opponents and rejected suggestions that the club could ask for referees to protect his player.
The former Everton manager told the Manchester Evening News: “We are never going to ask for protection because we want him to get up. We don’t want him to go down easily.”
Januzaj, who recently signed a new long-term deal which will see him remain at Old Trafford until June 2018, has been on the receiving end of four challenges from opponents which have received bookings since his debut.
Two of these were against Southampton and two against Stoke City, but Moyes is hopeful that his new star will learn to cope with the physicality of the Premier League.
“There were a couple of times when fouls could have been given against him (in the Fulham game) but they were not forthcoming,” said the Scot.
“We want people to realise this is a really honest boy who is not intent on going down. If he doesn’t get the fouls he just needs to live with it and get on with the game.”
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