‘This makes the job so exciting’ – Ten Hag outlines one rewarding element of working with young players

Erik ten Hag has outlined one element that makes his job as Manchester United manager “so exciting”.

Not only has Ten Hag implemented a successful and clear style of play in the team, which has quickly improved results and performances, but his man-management of certain players has been outstanding.

Last season, Marcus Rashford looked like he had fallen out of love with football. He went into the 2021/2022 campaign on the back of Euro 2020 heartbreak with England after narrowly missing out on the trophy through a penalty shootout, and the torrid abuse that followed seemingly impacted the forward’s confidence for the forthcoming season.

Constant frustrations over missed chances, poor results, early substitutions and injury concerns made up one of the lowest points of Rashford’s career, and it was clear to see where it went wrong.

Ten Hag came in last summer and the United resurgence began; his work with the forward has completely revitalised Rashford, who is the club’s top goalscorer this season. 20 goals, eight assists, countless world-class showings, Player of the Match and Player of the Month awards – he is undoubtedly the Reds’ talisman this season.

A similar situation is currently happening with Jadon Sancho; the 22-year-old struggled with fluctuating form throughout the first half of the 2022/2023 campaign, so Ten Hag opted to keep him out of the public eye by sending him on an individual training programme to work on his physical and mental health. Situations like these are uncommon in top-flight football, but they really shouldn’t be. Sancho is a young player who has already proved himself across Europe whilst at Dortmund, and adjusting to the pace and physicality of the Premier League is a significant step for most footballers.

He has since returned to first-team action and netted a crucial goal in front of an adoring Stretford End, leaving supporters ecstatic at what more there is to come of the electrifying winger.

Ten Hag on Rashford and Sancho

Speaking to MUTV, the manager weighed in on the similarities between both Englishmen.

Q. “I noticed with interest your comments with Jadon Sancho coming back last night and scoring. Marcus Rashford has been reinvigorated this season, especially his form after the World Cup. I wonder how much pride you and your coaching staff take from working with young, talented players like that and overcoming difficulty to see them succeed?”

“That makes this job so exciting. It is wonderful to work with young people and get the best out of them. Finally, they have to do it by themselves but often they need motivation, they need a push sometimes. Sometimes they need an interjection and also inspiration of a plan.”

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1 Comment

  1. Hello good evening please i will like to join the manchester united am a teenager of 14yrs (male) home based (cameroonian)

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