Erik ten Hag: Man Utd boss says Jadon Sancho’s return is ‘in his hands’ after equalizing against Leeds | Soccer News

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has said ‘magnificent’ Jadon Sancho is ‘on his way back’ after scoring on his Premier League return, but insists his future is ‘between his own hands”.

Sancho came off the bench to score his first Premier League goal since September and salvage a 2-2 draw at home to Leeds on Wednesday night.

The 22-year-old has only just returned to Ten Hag’s side after recovering from physical and mental issues which saw him undergoing an individual fitness program in the Netherlands rather than going to camp. team’s winter in Spain.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester United’s draw against Leeds United in the Premier League

Sancho continued his first appearance since October in last week’s Carabao Cup win over Nottingham Forest with a vital 70th-minute equalizer against Leeds in the Premier League.

Talk to sky sportsTen Hag said of Sancho’s goal: “I’m very happy. He’s on his way back. We know he’s a wonderful football player.

“He can certainly have a big impact for our team. Tonight he had it, but we know he can have a constant impact. He has to work very hard, we all do, and right now he is in a good mood.

“I think it will strengthen him, even motivate him to give more, so you’ll get more. He’s a brilliant footballer, and that second goal really appealed to me, and especially to him.”

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Erik ten Hag was disappointed with his side’s opening minutes in the first and second half against Leeds

Asked in the post-match press conference what the England international needs to do to ensure he doesn’t back down, Ten Hag replied: “I think it’s in his hands. So s he wants it, he can do it. [it] and this team is great to play and will give you joy.

“I really like seeing him play the way he did, with so much confidence, so much conviction, really direct. It was great to see him play in that attack.”

Sancho, who joined United in July 2021 for £73million from Borussia Dortmund, has now scored three goals in 11 Premier League appearances this season, matching his goal tally from the 2021-22 campaign (3 in 29 games) .

“He is in the right direction and I hope he can maintain that momentum,” added Ten Hag. “I’m sure it will strengthen him and motivate him to do even more.

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“As you can see he is a brilliant footballer and if he invests and is at the right level he can be outstanding.

“I think we have a team now that can dictate games more in the opposition half – he likes that. He can play in tight areas and he can make a difference. The second goal shows that, but also when he came in last week, we saw that too.”

Asked about Sancho’s time away from the first team, Ten Hag replied: “It was a tough time but he fought [it]. He needs credit for that and I’m glad, I’m proud that he did.

“I will support him, the coaches support him, the team supports and supports him in this process. But ultimately he has to do it on his own.

“You can see when he’s at a good level, he’s an exceptional football player, he’s brilliant. He can make a difference and I hope he can stay in that spirit and contribute to this team. and score a lot of goals and create chances and assists.”

Sky Sports

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