Sunderland forward says criticism spurs him on

Adnan Januzaj says he is spurred on by criticism as he looks to help relegation-threatened Sunderland turn around their season.
Adnan JanuzajAdnan Januzaj
Adnan Januzaj

The forward hasn’t set the world alight since arriving on loan, with just one goal to his name in 22 appearances - the winning goal against Shrewsbury in the EFL Cup way back in August.

The 22-year-old has shown flashes of his potential but has also faced heavy criticism at times, with manager David Moyes praising and criticising Januzaj in equal measure.

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Januzaj has no qualms and says criticism can only make him stronger as he looks to help Sunderland claw back the six-point gap to safety.

"Obviously this manager thinks that because he knows what I can do. I don’t mind when a manager tries to push me," said Januzaj, who is on a season-long loan from Manchester United.

"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.

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"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."