Amrabat hails ‘amazing’ Man Utd debut as Ten Hag reflects on ‘good night’ against Crystal Palace

Jason Soutar
Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag watches on as Sofyan Amrabat comes off the pitch.
Erik ten Hag watches on as Sofyan Amrabat comes off the pitch.

Sofyan Amrabat was in awe of the Manchester United support as he made his childhood dream a reality on Tuesday evening against Crystal Palace.

Signed from Fiorentina on deadline day, the Moroccan midfielder came off the bench at Burnley on Saturday to play his first minutes in a United shirt.

His full debut came in the Carabao Cup against Crystal Palace three days later, playing as a makeshift left-back with Mason Mount returning from injury to partner Casemiro in midfield.

It was a perfect night for the Red Devils, who have hardly had things go their way so far this season.

OPINION: Man Utd continue Carabao Cup love affair in rare perfect night full of positives for Ten Hag

Amrabat says he has been working for the opportunity to play for such a big club since he was a child and praised the fans for filling Old Trafford on a Tuesday evening.

“I think it was the perfect night,” he told Sky Sports. “We played very well and most importantly won 3-0.

“I played for an hour so I think [it was] a perfect night.

“Since I was a child, I worked for this. I worked very hard my whole career, my whole life for this. To play here is amazing.

“It’s Tuesday and the stadium is full, it’s fantastic.”

On playing left-back, Amrabat said: “I told the manager I would play wherever he needs me, wherever the team need me, even if it’s goalkeeper.

“I’ll play where I can help the team. Today it was left-back but I had a bit of a free role and I played a lot in the midfield. It was nice.

“I like to touch the ball and have it always. I’m not a left-back that will play from the line. I tried to give the team an extra option.

“I’ll play where the team needs me, I prefer to play in midfield but if it’s left-back, it’s left-back.”

The Moroccan continued: “I’m not at my best at the moment because I’ve not had a perfect pre-season and a little injury.

“I’ve trained really hard the last two or three weeks to get to 100% but I need games. If you play games you get stronger and better.

“It’s not been the most easy time but it’s clear United is a huge club. The pressure is high but we want this. We want to win and we’ll push very hard to win and give the fans much more.”

Erik ten Hag was very happy with his side’s performance as they began the defence of their Carabao Cup crown with a convincing 3-0 win against Palace.

The Dutch manager added that he knows Amrabat can play as a left-back.

“It was a good night, we played quite well and dominated the game,” Ten Hag said. “That’s what we are looking for.

“If you don’t win, of course there is frustration and disappointment and the mood is then dropping. But the spirit was always good, the togetherness was there and is there – you could see that today.

“We made a step forward at Burnley with how we defend, the togetherness and today on the ball we made another step.

“Still a lot to come but we’re moving forward.

“I know he’s (Amrabat) capable of that. He’s a player who gives the team what they need and makes a contribution.

“He has quality as well as energy and the dynamic he brings.”

On Mount making his return and only playing the first half, Ten Hag said: “He’s returning from an injury and we have to build this up.

“Go too quickly and you get a drop, we want to avoid that. I think his performance was very good.”

Finally, Ten Hag was asked about Jadon Sancho’s availability. He remained coy but hinted that his comeback is fully dependent on the player.

“I don’t talk about players who are not available,” he said. “It’s up to him.”

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