Manchester United players Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard

Jose Mourinho has challenged Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard to contribute more goals after the trio’s encouraging performances in the midweek draw with Arsenal.

Mourinho recalled the rested Martial and Lingard for Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba and the duo scored either side of half-time to earn United a 2-2 draw. Martial is United’s top scorer this season with eight goals and has tallied seven in his last seven Premier League starts, while Lingard netted his first club goal since May on Wednesday night.

Rashford has struck just twice this term and is without a goal at Old Trafford since May but last week earned praise from Mourinho following his influential performance at Southamption, where he made both of United’s goals.

United have scored 24 in the league so far but still have a minus goal difference as Mourinho struggles to tighten a porous defence. Saturday’s visitors Fulham have the worst defensive record in the top flight, having conceded 36 times, and Mourinho has urged his forwards to be more prolific in front of goal.

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“We need to score more goals,” Mourinho said. “I think one thing is dynamics and happiness, routines adapted to the qualities of the players, but in the end what is the most important thing is the ball in the net, and goals, points and victories, that’s a good thing.

“And that’s a thing that I praise and something that the team needs and one of the reasons why in the last match we pressed high until we had legs for that, because people not playing football say they collapse in the last 15 and 20 minutes.

“But one of the reasons the team was up and pressing was the characteristics and desire of the attacking players. They work very hard but it’s not about work. It’s about natural qualities.”

Martial is a doubt for the Fulham fixture and could be replaced by Lukaku, who was dropped for the Arsenal match despite ending a two-and-a-half month club goal drought against Southampton. Mourinho admitted he is holding candid conversations with Lukaku as he struggles for form but refused to divulge any details.

“That is something I feel comfortable to discuss with him, which I do,” Mourinho said. “I am not so comfortable to discuss with you. I think it is quite an easy job for you to analyse a player and performances, you have knowledge, experience, eyes and data. If you mix all this information, I think you can analyse.

“He’s having a rest. He was injured, he didn’t play a couple of matches because of injuries. He didn’t play Juventus, he didn’t play I think Bournemouth away. He was on the bench against Man City, he was on the bench for another game.

“So I don’t think in the last month we can speak about 90 minutes.”