Man Utd boss Ten Hag dances around Sancho questions; reveals how Maguire is coping with abuse

Joe Williams
Man Utd winger Jadon Sancho and Erik ten Hag
Jadon Sancho and Erik ten Hag have a discussion on the sidelines .

Erik ten Hag did his best to avoid answering questions on Jadon Sancho as the Manchester United winger trains away from the rest of the first-team squad.

The Red Devils have had a dramatic international break with Ten Hag having to deal with the fall-out between him and Sancho, while Antony has been given a leave of absence to address allegations made against him of violence towards women.

Sancho hit back at Ten Hag on social media after the Man Utd boss accused him of being poor in training with reports claiming the England international has refused to apologise.

Ten Hag, whose side host Brighton at Old Trafford on Saturday, has now made Sancho train away from the first-team squad while they sort out his disciplinary issues.

When asked about Sancho, Ten Hag chose to talk about their 3-1 loss to Arsenal instead, he said: “We close the game, we work on the feedback, the data team feedback, we played very well very Arsenal, we trained very well, we played very well, we deserved much more in Arsenal, it was not on our side, that was the outcome of our analysis and you can see our progress against a good Arsenal and minimum we have to get a draw there and we could have won.

“We come back and we trained very well. We are ready for it.”

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When asked again about Sancho’s situation, Ten Hag added: “I think everything is said. So the squad is strong, in good spirits and good mood going into the game.”

On how they will cope without Sancho and Antony, Ten Hag replied: “You have sometimes setbacks in seasons, players are injured or for other reasons are not available so you construct a squad and the squad is very good and the players who are available and motivated to give a good performance.”

Harry Maguire has faced more abuse after he scored an own goal for England in their 3-1 win over Scotland earlier this week with his mother coming out with a statement to defend him.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Ten Hag reacted to the latest abuse of Maguire: “I have said many times, it is disrespectful, doesn’t deserve it, he is a great player, gives great performances. It is crazy but how it works. Harry has to block this.”

On how the Man Utd defender is coping, Ten Hag said: “Good, you see his career, a lot to come, he has to block it by good performances.”

Asked whether he can help Maguire cope, the Man Utd boss added: “It is also with the generation, about team construction, the group dynamic and always about the team, that is above everything else but within that everyone plays his role, different characters and you have to manage those characters.”