Erik ten Hag backs Manchester United winger to improve

Erik ten Hag knows Antony can do better.

Antony, who completed a big-money move to Old Trafford from Ajax last summer, flattered to deceive at the Emirates Stadium last weekend.

This led to a lot of harsh criticism because I didn’t think Antony performed that poorly. Not to the degree that he warranted being singled out for a bad performance.

Nobody knows the Brazilian winger as well as Erik ten Hag, who got a tune out of him in an Eredivisie-winning side, so the manager doesn’t need reminding that patience is required for a player who has very little experience in English football.

Antony has four goals to his name this season in 19 appearances and he has yet to register an assist. One would hope the introduction of Wout Weghorst encourages Antony to put more crosses into the box.

Ten Hag admits Antony “can do better” and he will want to see that on Wednesday night when United take on Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg.

Still, the manager believes we are a better side when Antony starts.

“I think he is not losing games,” Ten Hag said, as per the Manchester Evening News. “When he is playing and the team is winning and that already gives a message of how well he is performing.

“He can do better, I see space for improvement and, for instance – and I think you notice – we want him to be more direct, more involved. But the team is performing better if he is on the pitch and that is a good thing, a good base to build further on.

“I think he already makes improvement, he scored some goals, he scored in his first three games, now he scores against Everton and Charlton, so he has an impact.

“But I think with his capabilities, with his talents he can do even more. He has a good contribution in the team.”

I think I fancy Antony to score tomorrow night!