Erik ten Hag has revealed the pep talk he gave to Alejandro Garnacho before Manchester United’s FA Cup victory over West Ham and praised three other players.
The Red Devils hosted the Hammers in the fifth round at Old Trafford on Wednesday and went 1-0 down after Said Benrahma put the visitors ahead.
But an own goal from Nayef Aguerd levelled it up before Garnacho scored in the 90th minute to turn it around, with Fred’s strike in added time securing a 3-1 victory.
Ten Hag has now revealed the chat he had with Garnacho before the match and said: ‘I see today another step.
‘I said to him before the game, ‘it’s time. You have an impact when you come on but now you have to have an impact as a starter’.
‘And I think he is capable of it, so that is the next step he has to make. It is a great skill when you’re fearless, when you’re brave.
‘I don’t think that it’s a skill that is so specific, there are not so many players in world football who can take players on, who can just out-dribble them and that skill he has.
‘But he has more skills than only that, for example, finishing. But also I see he has a big engine, he is fast, he has speed, he can keep running for 90 minutes, for 120 minutes, it doesn’t matter how long, he can do it.’
Garnacho has now scored four goals for United this season in what has been a breakthrough campaign for him under the Ten Hag.
But the 18-year-old was not the only player Ten Hag was impressed with in the FA Cup triumph over West Ham as he singled out three others.
‘Harry Maguire had a good game, [Tyrell] Malacia, [Marcel] Sabitzer, and of course Garnacho, especially second half,’ the United boss added.
He also told ITV: ‘After Sunday, it is never easy after a cup celebration and of course you have to get back to business as usual.
‘That was our task, we did it and found a way to win. Our resilience. It was magnificent and great from the team.’