Team news: Ten Hag backs Donny

Friday 28 October 2022 13:30

Erik ten Hag says he is confident Donny van de Beek can force his way back into the Manchester United side, after the midfielder returned from injury on Thursday night.

The Dutchman's selection options are growing ahead of Sunday's match against West Ham United,  with three Reds – Harry Maguire, van de Beek and Cristiano Ronaldo – returning to first-team action against Sheriff Tiraspol.
There was also an impressive first senior start for Alejandro Garnacho, who was voted our Man of the Match against the Transnistrian club.
It leaves Ten Hag with much to ponder ahead of the weekend's Premier League action, as he admitted to the media following the 3-0 win over Sheriff.
Ten Hag's pre-West Ham press conference Video

Ten Hag's pre-West Ham press conference

Erik discusses Ronaldo's goalscoring, Martial's fitness and van de Beek, ahead of our final game in October...

"I was really happy to bring Harry and Donny [on], to give them minutes," explained Erik, "because we need them in the coming weeks.
"He [Donny] is not even one week in training, the same as Harry Maguire... He was long out, so I was happy to give him some minutes because you need to get in the right form. 
"But he'll have to work himself back.
"When you analyse the season so far, then if he was available then he should get his chance," Ten Hag continued. 
"Because we need goals and I know Donny is really good in the position to score goals but also he is really good in defence transition."

How to follow United v West Ham


Our match preview has everything you need to know ahead of Sunday's clash with the Hammers.

The boss was keen to stress in his press conference that, whoever gets the nod to start on Sunday, the starting XI will only be one element of his match plan.
"Now I have to focus on West Ham United for Sunday, and then we will pick the team to start, but also to have plan B and plan C in the pocket to win that game. 
"And that is what we need finally: to win games. And therefore we need not only 11 players, we need the whole squad."
That point was proven against Sheriff, where substitutes Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford combined to score our second goal of the game.
United finished the game with Rashford partnering Cristiano Ronaldo up front, with both players scoring during that phase of the contest.
"I think tonight with Cristiano and Marcus in the back that worked well, that worked very well," admitted Erik. 
"I was happy with that and I must say also Donny came in and in the last part he had also some good positions, in-between the lines, so I think also that combination was good."
90 in 20: United v Sheriff Video

90 in 20: United v Sheriff

Extended highlights | Watch 20 minutes of highlights from United's final home game of the Europa League group stage...

In our exclusive interview to be published on Sunday morning, the manager reiterated the point that a group effort is required if the Reds are to be successful.

"Every player who is in the squad can play a role. You’ve seen that with [Alejandro] Garnacho," said Ten Hag.

"He’s playing a role. Anthony Elanga came on [at Chelsea] and had some more good touches. So we need all the players. All the players have to be available, they have to be ready to battle and ready to fight for this team and this club."
With Rashford and Ronaldo both finding the net, Garnacho excelling, and Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof both performing well while vying for a place alongside Lisandro Martinez, the manager has plenty of decisions to make before Sunday's match kicks off (16:15 GMT).

Could Martial play before the World Cup?


Erik ten Hag provides an update on Anthony's availability for United ahead of the mid-season break.

Moyes made nine changes to his Hammers XI for the Europa League game against Silkeborg on Thursday, with summer signing Nayef Aguerd rewarded with his first start after overcoming an ankle injury.
The former United manager has serious doubts about three senior players ahead of the trip to Old Trafford, however.
Forward Maxwel Cornet has suffered a setback while trying to recover from a calf injury, while influential defender Craig Dawson has not played since being subbed off in the win over Anderlecht earlier this month.
Playmaker Lucas Paqueta, meanwhile, is "touch and go" for the game in M16, due to a collarbone issue.