Heaton: Betis game provided learning points

Saturday 10 December 2022 21:45

Manchester United goalkeeper Tom Heaton says there is plenty for the Reds to take away from the friendly against Real Betis and the mid-season training camp in Spain.

United were narrowly beaten 1-0 by the La Liga side in the second friendly of our trip to Spain, following Wednesday's 4-2 reverse to Cadiz.

Although neither of those results went our way, the games served as important preparation for Erik ten Hag’s side as we get set for the restart of the campaign later this month. 
'A good learning experience' Video

'A good learning experience'

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Speaking after Saturday’s meeting with Betis, Heaton explained the benefits of the camp, at least one of which was personal - getting more minutes on the pitch.

“I had a little knock just before the [World Cup] break,” Heaton admitted, before telling MUTV’s Ben Ibson and Danny Webber that he regained fitness and then had some time away.

“So it was nice to get a little run-out, nice to get some minutes. I felt good this week, it’s been a good week in terms of getting some good training.

“We’ve got a lot of young lads in the squad at the minute. It was a good experience for them against a good Betis side. Obviously, we’ve been beaten which is not ideal but there will be some good learning points in there.”
One of the younger Reds on the trip was 19-year-old defender Rhys Bennett, who captained United to FA Youth Cup success at Old Trafford last season and was tasked with coming into the Betis game earlier than expected, following a first-half injury to Teden Mengi. 

Bennett appeared to slot straight in, standing up to the task and impressing Heaton in the process.

“I thought he was excellent actually, really, really good,” said Tom, when asked about the centre-back's performance.
Three quality Heaton saves against Betis Video

Three quality Heaton saves against Betis

United lost out to Real Betis, but the scoreline could have been worse if not for some smart Tom Heaton saves...

“Positionally, he was excellent. [There have been] a few changes in terms of how the manager wants his defenders to play, so he’s picked that up really well this week.

“I thought he showed that excellently, especially coming off the bench cold in the first half. I thought Benno had a really good night.”