Erik ten Hag has defended Wout Weghorst’s contribution at Manchester United and has discussed the return to fitness of Anthony Martial.
Weghorst has struggled to make an impact since signing on loan for the Red Devils from Burnley during the January transfer window, with the Dutch international having scored just twice in 19 appearances across all competitions.
Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville was critical of Weghorst’s performance during the club’s 2-0 defeat at Newcastle on Sunday and said the 30-year-old ‘isn’t good enough to be a Manchester United forward’.
Ahead of Wednesday’s Premier League clash with Brentford, Ten Hag was asked for his view on Neville’s comments.
“I also saw another comment from Gary Neville where he was conflicted on the performance of Wout and [he said] that with Wout, we are quite successful,” Ten Hag told his pre-match press conference.
“I think that’s the evidence. That’s what I can say about that. I am happy with him because he’s [Weghorst] doing a great job for this team.”
Ten Hag welcomed back Anthony Martial into his plans last weekend with the forward making his first appearance since January as a substitute at St James’ Park.
The Frenchman has had a frustrating season with injuries, but has averaged a goal every 125 minutes across all competitions when fit. Ten Hag admits it has been frustrating for manager and player that Martial has been reduced to just 750 minutes his season.
“[In the] first place, it’s frustrating for himself. He is the player who is most in the gym, he doesn’t want to be there, he wants to be on the pitch. But of course, our team, in the first place, it’s frustrating, secondly, [it is] for the manager as well because when your best players are available, you have more chance of winning games.
“I only have to refer to Liverpool [at] home, Man City [at] home when he was available. He makes a difference, but we spoke before, that’s the same for Casemiro, for Eriksen, who are very important players. But, when they are not available, we still have to win.”
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