Erik ten Hag has happy to have Jadon Sancho back and ready to gain match fitness.
The England international came off the bench to make his first competitive appearance for Manchester United since October. He operated as a No 10 with Bruno Fernandes pushed out side.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Erik ten Hag made it clear that he believes Sancho could have a future in the No 10 role – which doesn’t surprise us since he is a winger who likes to drift in from wide positions.
“We have done it before,” Ten Hag said, as quoted by The Independent. “Bruno out [wide], it’s a different dynamic.
“Jadon can play as a No 10 or as a winger, we mix it up and around.
“That’s what I like, the position has to be occupied, to keep the discipline, otherwise it’s going to be a mess.”
During Sancho’s time away from the first team, I took a look at his goal contributions this season. All three goals came from central positions and it would make sense for Ten Hag to utilise this trait in the former Borussia Dortmund star’s game.
Ten Hag wasn’t happy with United’s performance in the first half.
He added: “We didn’t create chances and we allowed them to. The second half was better, more tempo, we are 3-0 up, don’t give them the momentum, they wait for one chance to get back into the game. We are searching for gaps, they played well, defended compact, we didn’t find the gaps.
“You have to be smart, they set a trap, don’t dive in, don’t give anything away, keep the ball, pass it around. We should have done more. Movement in behind, quicker switches, things like that, we didn’t create that. We just want to improve every day, we have a good squad, we have to demand high standards, control them, we are not satisfied, I told the players as well, when you’re a United player you have to match the standards.
“It’s a luxury problem, the schedule, how we want it, what is normal for a club like Man Utd, to play every third day. We’re looking forward to it. For us, make every next game better than the previous one. We’re looking forward, to go to Wembley, Newcastle, a great team, but it’s far away.”
There is no denying that the Red Devils will need to perform better in the final against Newcastle, but until then, we will wait eagerly to see Sancho play in the No 10 role again.