'Brilliant' Sancho delights Ten Hag

Thursday 09 February 2023 00:04

Erik ten Hag was delighted with Jadon Sancho's excellent performance as a substitute in the 2-2 draw with Leeds United.

The winger marked his first Premier League outing since the draw at Chelsea in October by scoring the equaliser, after Marcus Rashford headed the Reds back into the game.

A lively cameo helped change the dynamic of the game as he linked effectively with Luke Shaw down the left flank and caused numerous problems for the visiting defence.

Watch Ten Hag's post-match press conference Video

Watch Ten Hag's post-match press conference

Press conference | Rashford, Sancho and Sunday's return game were all talking points after United v Leeds...

"I am happy," said the boss in an interview with Sky Sports. "He is all the way back. We know he is a magnificent football player and he can definitely be, for our team, a big impact. Tonight, he had [that].

"I think he can be consistent and have a great impact. But he has to work, every day, really hard, as we all [must]. In this moment, he is in a good mood. I think it will strengthen him, it will motivate him to even give more and then you will see you will get more.

"Of course, like I said, he is a brilliant footballer and the second goal, I really enjoyed it, especially for him.”

Pushed further on the return of the England international, during his press conference at Old Trafford, the manager believes Jadon can use this momentum to regain top form.

"I’m really happy he’s in the right direction," he explained. "I hope he can keep this momentum going. I’m sure it will strengthen him and motivate him to do even more. As you see, he’s a brilliant footballer and, if he invests, and he is in the right levels, he can perform outstanding.

"I think we now have a team who can dictate games and play more in an opponent’s half and he likes that. He can play in tight areas and he can make a difference. That second goal shows it but also I think when he came on last week, he showed it as well."

Watch: Sancho's equaliser v Leeds Video

Watch: Sancho's equaliser v Leeds

There was quite the noise around Old Trafford when Jadon Sancho got United on level terms with Leeds...

The boss says it is up to Sancho to deliver in the remainder of the season, but he cannot yet promise him a start on Sunday at Elland Road.

"That’s in his own hands," Erik replied, when asked what our no.25 needs to do. "If he wants, he can do it. This team is great to play in. It gives you joy but I really enjoy seeing him play the way he did with so much confidence and so much belief. Really direct. It was great to see him and to play in this attack.

“It is too quickly to answer that question [about getting in the team at the weekend]. I have to reflect and first analyse his game and reflect on his game and then we will make decisions.”