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Other SportsManchester United: Ten Hag wants consistency from Hojlund, Garnacho and Mainoo

Manchester United: Ten Hag wants consistency from Hojlund, Garnacho and Mainoo

Erik ten Hag has challenged his Manchester United youngsters to replicate their recent strong performances on a consistent basis – starting this weekend when they visit fellow top-four hopefuls Aston Villa.

United have overcome a sticky patch in December to win four of their last five games in all competitions. Key to their resurgence has been the form of young trio Rasmus Hojlund, Kobbie Mainoo and Alejandro Garnacho.

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Their promise was neatly captured last weekend with the three sitting arm in arm on an advertising board at Old Trafford after Garnacho scored in the 3-0 win over West Ham.

Ten Hag is aware of their capabilities but wants to see it every week.

He told Sky Sports: “We have some very high potentials in this squad. And now we have to perform to high levels.

“We do it now in some games but on Sunday, for instance, we get an opposition who have a very high level. So that’s a challenge to perform there and to get an end product from those players on Sunday. So they are the next steps, which have to come.”

Ten Hag has been encouraged at the way the trio have worked together, and also how the more experienced players have enhanced their development.

He added: “They [the youngsters] bring energy.

“I think it’s always a combination of experience and high potentials. And when they respect each other, and they want to strengthen each other, then you have a team and that is always the objective because every player knows when there is a team you can achieve higher performances and higher levels and so achieve more.”

The big frustration for Ten Hag this season has been a persistent injury list that was added to last weekend when Argentina World Cup winner Lisandro Martinez suffered a knee injury that will keep him out for at least two months.

“It stops the progress” said the Dutchman.

“Every time you have to adjust you don’t have routines, you don’t have partnerships and that is what we have seen.

“I think we have had nine different set-ups in the centre-half positions. In other positions we have to swap a lot and that was forced by injuries so we hope now we can keep a consistent team.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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