Andy Cole has urged the press to lay off Mason Greenwood.

The Athletic and The Times both reported criticism of Greenwood’s approach in training, calling into question his dedication and professionalism.

Former star Andy Cole is getting fed up. He has spoken out to stick up for the 19-year-old prospect.

Cole told The Mirror: “What’s really upset me through this situation is I’m not sure why everyone keeps hounding him the way they do.

“He’s a baby. If you don’t make mistakes when you’re a baby, when do you make your mistakes? In your 50s? He’s a boy and he’s made mistakes, he’s held his hands up and let him go out there and play his football.

RONALDO NEEDS TO STOP WHINING.

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“Now judge him on his football because if we’re judging him as an 18 year old boy against what the average 18 year old gets up to then we’ll see what they all get up to.

“Judge him on his ability, he’s made a mistake and apologised and now please just let him play his football now. They’ve left Foden alone, but let’s continue to hammer Greenwood. It’s just not right.

“He’s got so much to his game, he can go both sides, he can score goals and do everything. I’m sure that he can come through this.”

Greenwood turned 19 last month and is a truly special talent. He scored 17 goals last season and netted his first Champions League goal last month.

This week we called for the press to leave Greenwood alone, amid a surge of criticism and speculation on why the teenager missed the game with Everton.

It is good to see Cole coming out and backing Greenwood. There need to be more voices like his, standing up and supporting the teenager at a time when he needs it.

United will be working with Greenwood, and trying to help him be the best player he can possibly be. And he needs to trust the club too, they have his best interests at heart.

Greenwood is under contract until 2023, with United having an option to extend to 2024, with the teenager penning a deal last year.

Providing the media lay off him, Greenwood has a chance to become one of the best English players of his generation.

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