Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag answered questions from the media ahead of the club’s pre-season friendly against Melbourne Victory tomorrow.
The Red Devils started their pre-season campaign in spectacular fashion with a 4-0 victory over Liverpool at the Rajamangala Stadium in Thailand on Tuesday.
It was a terrific exhibition during Ten Hag’s first game in charge of the club, and they now have the opportunity to build a winning run ahead of the 2022/23 season.
In a press conference before the Victory friendly, Ten Hag was posed several questions. Harry Maguire, Donny van de Beek and Jadon Sancho were among main topics.
Van de Beek started on the bench during the recent friendly in Bangkok. However, in the second half, he came on as a substitute for Bruno Fernandes from the number 10 role.
When pressed on his favourite position, Ten Hag emphasised that he is best suited to playing behind the main striker despite being capable of operating from a deep-lying midfield role.
He told ManUtd.com: “Yes, he can do both [play deep and high], I know that from the past. His best position is in the box of the opponent and playing just behind the striker. He has a really good smell for being in the right position.”
Meanwhile, the Dutch tactician confirmed that Maguire is fit for the encounter, having overcome a minor thigh injury that kept him out of the Liverpool game.
Ten Hag said on Maguire: “Yes, tomorrow he is available. We will see but I think he can play half a game.”
Despite his availability, United have asked graduate Will Fish to join the Melbourne leg of the pre-season tour as Axel Tuanzebe has been given permission to leave.
Tuanzebe was on loan with Napoli and Aston Villa during the recent campaign with limited success, and he is now on the verge of sealing a permanent transfer.
Elsewhere, Jadon Sancho was seen playing from both wings against Liverpool. When pressed on his plans for him, Ten Hag said that he does not want his players to be predictable.
The 52-year-old is happy to see his wide attackers operate on either side and also hinted on the possibility of them playing up front when the situation demands them to.
He added: “I was really happy to see that. I think we have a good left side but I think you see against Liverpool that we also have attacks on the right side.”
“It was good to see it because you want to have balance. If you are only on one side it is quite predictable so we want that to develop over two sides but also in the middle and from everywhere.”
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