Ian Wright thinks Marcel Sabitzer demonstrated he can be another option in a number 10 role for Man Utd during their 1-0 win over Brentford on Wednesday night.
Sunday’s meek 2-0 defeat at top-four rivals Newcastle led the players to have a frank discussion in the St James’ Park dressing room following what Luke Shaw called an “unacceptable” display.
Erik ten Hag agreed with the left-back that the Magpies had more determination, passion and desire in a result that Man Utd bounced back from three days later at Old Trafford.
Marcus Rashford’s first-half strike proved the difference in a 1-0 victory over the Bees – a night that may not live long in the memory but provided a much-needed shot in the arm.
Ten Hag gave Sabitzer – who joined Man Utd on loan until the end of the season from Bayern Munich in January – a start in a more advanced role against Brentford with Bruno Fernandes dropping deep alongside Scott McTominay.
“You have to say, Sabitzer came up with the goods today,” Wright told Premier League Productions.
“With the assist and in certain other areas, he was getting into pockets, making some nice little moves and always making himself available.
“He got taken off in the end but I thought he did more than enough tonight in that number 10 position.”
Sabitzer set up the only goal of the game as Rashford scored his 28th goal of the season in all competitions to give the Red Devils a crucial three points.
Man Utd moved back into the top four with the victory and the Red Devils are now three points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand.
On Rashford, Ten Hag said after the match: “Great finish. Once again, he is on top and in very good form so hopefully, he can keep doing it until the end of the season. Keep that focus and those energy levels and then he will score.
“This is a massive win – I admire Brentford, they play against top teams and they get results. I am really proud of my team, really happy.
“We want to play as a machine and not make mistakes – we made one mistake and thankfully, they didn’t benefit from it.”
On the victory over Brentford, Ten Hag added: “Very important win I would say. Of course, when you lose after the international break, you have to bounce back, so we did and I think it was a good performance as well.
“In the second half when we didn’t get a second goal it was more of a battle, but then saw the determination, the passion and the desire that I missed on Sunday.
“I think this is the standards we have to bring in every game. It’s not acceptable what we did on Sunday. We know that. This is not United, this is not the standards from United, so, yes, there were several things I was happy with.”