Jadon Sancho has spoken up about how Manchester United have been rejuvenated by Erik ten Hag.
The level of intensity in providing passing options to teammates and pressing opponents has been high during United’s preseason tour, and the winger has given us a good indication of why.
In an interview, Sancho said to Manutd.com, “He’s told all the boys that every friendly is a must-win game.”
The Dutchman’s determination to “do well” in every fixture has “been a real confidence boost” for the squad.
Ten Hag’s attention to detail and high standards certainly seem to be having an early affect as the team adapt to his style of play.
“We’ve been having lots of meetings with the manager and understanding how he wants us to play and there’s definitely been a big sign of everyone taking that on board and us producing what he wants to happen.”
Watching the Red Devils last year, it would have been reasonable to assume that implementing any kind of style of play at all – even in friendly games – would be a Herculean task.
However the evidence of a collective buy-in from the players and clarity from the new boss is there for all to see.
“You can see in the games, with how we’re playing and there being a lot more structure and opportunities to score, and we’re keeping the ball more too and being effective.”
Last summer’s £76m signing has looked a different player on tour compared to last season’s campaign.
Sancho has been at the forefront of United’s new-found ability to actually attack on the right-hand side, with his clever combination play and creative passing supplemented by a bag of tricks that has left fans purring ahead of the new season.
And United’s number 25 has no intention of slowing down.
“This season, I feel a lot more comfortable and, especially scoring in pre-season, it is a confidence boost for myself and, hopefully, I can take that into the season and keep it going.”
Last summer, Sancho came home from a miserable Euros campaign to an ear infection that scuppered his preseason preparations.
This season, rested and revitalised, Old Trafford might just have a lot to look forward to.
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