Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has praised Alejandro Garnacho for earning a new contract with the club, but warned him that he will need to step up his game now that the spotlight is on him. Garnacho has recently broken through from the youth set up to the first team, and while his talent has been acknowledged, the demands on him will now be much higher. Ten Hag explained during a press conference before United’s match against Brighton that the player must compete for a starting position, and he will have to work even harder to cross limits and reach the next level.
"“First of all, I think he [Garnacho] has the prize [the new contract] and it’s a prize, he also shows he can make the final step, not only in talent but also he made it. Now, it’s a new start, a restart, because now expectations will be higher, the demands will definitely be higher,” Ten Hag said“He is on his way, he is a strong character and that’s why he’s there in the moment on this level and he did it by himself. Now more work is coming because the demands are higher, we expect more from him but it’s great he made it. He has to compete for a starting XI position. Every time is the same: you have to cross limits and every time you have to go in the next level, we go with him in the challenge but most important is the player has to do it.”Source Goal"
Although Garnacho has been out of action since March due to an ankle injury, he has returned to training. However, Ten Hag stated that the Brighton match was too soon for him to return. Ten Hag also revealed that Raphael Varane, who has been out due to an ankle injury since the Europa League quarter-final against Sevilla, is making progress and should be back sooner than Scot McTominay. Neither Varane nor McTominay will play against Brighton or West Ham.
Manchester United boss warns not only Alejandro Garnacho but the entire squad
Ten Hag stressed the importance of maintaining focus and energy to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League. Manchester United recently beat Aston Villa, bringing them one step closer to achieving their goal, but Ten Hag insisted that they cannot become complacent. The team has six games left to play, and their goal is to win each game and competition. The manager emphasized that he does not want to talk about pride or satisfaction during the season, as satisfaction can lead to laziness. The team’s focus should be on the present and continuing to improve every game.
"After taking a step closer by beating Aston Villa on Sunday, he said, “I never want to talk during the season of pride or satisfaction, you know my statement satisfaction leads to laziness. We have six games to go, and every game we want to win, therefore you need full focus, full energy, full preparation, and tomorrow is definitely going to be a fight, and we have to be ready for that fight and the points.” said the Dutch coach"
Looking ahead to the FA Cup final against Manchester City, Ten Hag refused to speculate about potential scenarios. Instead, he reiterated that the team’s focus should be on each game and competition as it comes.
"“The FA Cup final is after the season. I never speak about ‘if’ scenarios, not negative, not positive, focus on the game tomorrow, don’t dream, stay in the same focus as others. You have to improve every game. Good is not good enough, we have to do better.” Ten Hag said"
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