Ten Hag lauds ‘magnificent’ Man Utd star who is ‘all the way back’ after ‘unacceptable’ start vs Leeds

Ten Hag on Man Utd Credit: Alamy
Ten Hag on Man Utd Credit: Alamy

Erik ten Hag praised Jadon Sancho after the Englishman equalised for Manchester United against Leeds United at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

The Red Devils were the heavy favourites going into Wednesday night’s home game against rivals Leeds United.

Heading into this clash, Man Utd were one of the in-form sides in the Premier League, while Leeds sacked Jesse Marsch with them languishing around the relegation places.

But a shock was suddenly on the cards at Old Trafford as Wilfried Gnonto fired the ball home from outside the penalty area inside the opening minute to break the deadlock.

Leeds were in full control after the interval as Raphael Varane scored an own goal following a corner from the away side.

Man Utd are a completely different outfit than they were last season and they showed great character to battle back to earn a point.

Marcus Rashford pulled one back before Jadon Sancho came off the bench to equalise with his first goal for Man Utd since returning to the fold.

Speaking post-match, Ten Hag admitted that Man Utd’s start against Leeds United was “unacceptable” as his players were not “ready to battle”.

“Mixed feelings. Of course in the end we were happy to win a point – but we dropped two points,” Ten Hag told reporters.

“It’s a very bad start, unacceptable, especially in a derby you have to be ready to battle and take responsibility. We didn’t do that,”

When asked if Leeds’ quick start surprised his players, Ten Hag added: “It looked like it but not me. [We knew] they will go aggressive, front foot, against a team on a good run they’ll try to get into duels and that’s what they did.

“We created great chances. Garnacho twice. Sabitzer. The header of Raphael. At half-time we had to equalise. If you start the second half the same as the first half you make it really difficult.

“I have to complement the team and resilience to fight back. We made two great team goals.

On bringing Sancho on: “I wanted a different dynamic. At that moment we weren’t in the game. Luckily it succeeded because we scored two goals. Very happy. He’s all the way back. We know he’s a magnificent player. I think consistently he can have a big impact. But he has to work hard. It will motivate him to get more. I really enjoyed it, especially for him. It will strengthen him.

“If you play a derby you need a different attitude. You have to start and be ready and take responsibility, win your battles and be composed on the ball.”

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