Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia has put his improvement at right-back down to better concentration.
Valencia, 31, has been a regular in that role under manager Jose Mourinho, making 17 appearances in all competitions this season. After suffering a fractured arm in late-October, he recovered in less than a month and has impressed since returning.
Valencia told MUTV: “I guess I’ve got to hold my hands up for my first season, when [former United manager] Mr. [Louis] Van Gaal first started to play me more regularly at right-back.
“I made one or two mistakes in that role and some of those mistakes were maybe down to me not concentrating 100 percent all the time. So one area where I have tried to improve is my concentration and always being totally focused.”
Valencia won the club’s Player of the Month award for November, at a time when United endured frustrating draws against Arsenal and West Ham United. The Ecuadorian said it felt bittersweet to win the prize in those circumstances.
“As well as making me happy, it’s tinged with sadness and frustration,” he said. “Although we played so well, we’ve not managed to pick up all the points our general play has deserved. It’s kind of bittersweet.”
Discussing his recent return from injury, he added: “I’m really grateful for the confidence the manager had to put me straight back in so early.”