Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag spoke to the press ahead of Sunday’s clash against Newcastle.
Just a day after United secured a one-nil win against Omonia, the Dutch boss outlined his plans and his team’s preparations ahead of the crucial tie vs the Magpies.
One player that came to the fore during Ten Hag’s press conference was Antony. The Brazilian has taken to English football like a duck to water, hitting the ground running.
On being asked what the world should expect from Antony, Ten Hag answered, “Development. I think we have seen a few now from his dribble capabilities, and his speed. His finishing, also his creating, but now also he has to work on more variation.”
He added on the winger, “He [Antony] is a player who can adapt quickly to a high level and is a player who likes challenges, and he needs the challenges.”
“Every training for him is a challenge, every game is a challenge, and that will make the best out of him and he likes that. I think he’s already at a really good level when you are the first player who scored in three in a row, three goals for United in all history. That already shows his potential.”
Beyond Antony, the United boss also talked about the other attackers at his disposal. He confirmed that Anthony Martial is in contention to be selected against Eddie Howe’s men though more tests have to be conducted on the Frenchman.
He backed Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho to score 20+ goals this season. Ten Hag pinpointed Rashford’s finishing and clinical nature in front of goal as something that needs to be refined. The Englishman was especially wasteful yesterday night against Omonia, where on another day his misses could have cost his side three points.
Sancho, who has come under fire in recent weeks, was lauded by the manager for a much-improved cameo against Omonia after he came on as a substitute.
The 52-year-old gave the press an update on Harry Maguire. While the defender will not be in the matchday squad as per Ten Hag, he will be back in training as soon as next week.
The Dutchman warned fans and his players about the danger of underestimating Newcastle. He described the opposition as a team that plays with a lot of energy, high intensity and one that makes it hard for the rival team to break them down.
Finally, he highlighted the importance of winning, remarking that it would only give an impetus to the team to continue winning and churning out positive results.
It is imperative that the Red Devils undertake to clinch all three points against a dangerous and revitalized Newcastle team. There are tougher matches ahead which necessitate picking up as many points as possible while there is an opportunity to do so.
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