Erik ten Hag recognises Antony’s progress

Sunday 29 January 2023 07:00

Erik ten Hag joked that the setting of a pouring wet Old Trafford was no Copacabana for Brazilians Antony, Casemiro and Fred, but the boss was pleased with the performances of the trio in the victory over Reading.

Casemiro hit a brace on the night to double his overall United tally, rising from two to four, while Fred extended our lead with a beautiful finish moments after his introduction from the bench.

It was forward Antony – who claimed his first assist for the Reds in setting up Casemiro’s opening goal – who was named as the Emirates FA Cup Man of the Match, though, after a mercurial display from our no.21. Casemiro won the club's equivalent prize.

Watch Ten Hag's press conference Video

Watch Ten Hag's press conference

Erik spoke to reporters about his Brazilian players and Christian Eriksen after the final whistle at Old Trafford...

Antony was full of running on the night, and went close to finding the back of the net on several occasions himself, in a performance which Erik felt provided evidence of his exciting forward’s continuing progress.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, the boss, who has of course worked with our no.21 before, said: “I have some longer experience with him [with Ajax] and we have to challenge him, and if you challenge him, he can adapt, he can adjust his game, and that is what we have to do, definitely.

“He has to be more variable, more dynamic. But also, he needs his team-mates around him, but also how to use your team-mates.

“He has to work on that and he’s investing in this moment in it and you see the progress. But still, I think there is still a lot of room for improvement there.”

Erik: We want them to smell top football Video

Erik: We want them to smell top football

Ten Hag says he is committed to developing young players at United, after our 3-1 win over Reading...

Our Brazilians may have stolen the show at Old Trafford but Erik remained keen to highlight the performance of his entire team against the Royals, particularly in the opening hour of the game.

“We had three Brazilian goalscorers because Fred was [the goalscorer of] the 3-0. I was pleased with their performance. I have to say, I was pleased with the performance from the team in the first 60 minutes.

Ten Hag: Casemiro was magnificent


Erik discussed United's double scorer - plus Antony, Cruyff and more - in his interviews after the Reds beat Reading.

“I think we played in the opponents’ half, stayed in the opponents’ half, apart from one big chance what we concede, and there was a moment of concentration – lack of concentration – and we have to work on that point.

“I think in the performance, the way we played, the formations between the lines, the movement, the getting behind the lines, was [done] quite well and the creating the chances.”