Erik ten Hag is hopeful that Jadon Sancho’s ‘convincing’ penalty during Manchester United’s FA Cup semi-final win over Brighton can give the winger ‘more courage and belief’.
Sancho has struggled to make an impact at Manchester United since his £72.9m move to the club from Borussia Dortmund and was afforded time away from the squad earlier this season to undergo an individual training regime.
The winger came off the bench to provide an encouraging cameo during Sunday’s semi-final with Brighton and took responsibility in the penalty shootout with a converted kick as United reached the FA Cup final.
Sancho’s last penalty had been saved during England’s Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy at the same venue and Ten Hag was asked whether his successful spot-kick against Brighton could lead to an upturn in form and confidence.
“Yes, but I think also we have seen in the season many times very good performances from Jadon,” Ten Hag said at his pre-match press conference ahead of the club’s trip to face Spurs on Thursday.
“I think definitely, that moment on Sunday, it will strengthen him even more and give him, as you say, more courage and more belief. Definitely and I think you have to recognise it and reward it for stepping up on Sunday and it was such a good penalty. It was so convincing and the same you can say for Rashy [Marcus Rashford], it was so convincing.
“I think they have stepped over the trauma and that’s very good because they have shown they have character and personality. That can help us as, many times, you ask questions about bouncing back in a game, this is the same in a game, show the personality when things are not going in your direction. Make sure you turn it around.”