Januzaj explains how he has improved since leaving Utd

Matt Stead

Adnan Januzaj has explained how he has improved as a player since leaving Manchester United on loan.

Belgian winger Januzaj joined Sunderland on a season-long loan in the summer, and has been one of the relegation-threatened club’s better performers.

He left Old Trafford in the search of first-team football, and has three assists in 15 Premier League starts with Sunderland.

The 22-year-old believes he has improved both the mental side of his game, as well as his defensive performance.

“This manager knows what I can do,” he told the North Shields Gazzette of former United boss and current Black Cats manager, David Moyes. “I don’t mind when a manager tries to push me.

“He is being hard on me and I have to take it and try to play some big games.

“Criticism makes you stronger. You can criticise me how you want, the first thing that I think about is my own game when I go out onto the pitch.

“I would say mentally I have improved, that has been a strength of mine.

“It has been a hard time for me because it has not been an easy position to be in. I have become a much stronger player than I have been.

“Defensively I have also had to improve because I have had to defend more.

“That has helped my fitness as well. I feel much fitter now playing this way.”