Man Utd boss Ten Hag had ruthless Garnacho message before West Ham win

Ten Hag hails depth of Man Utd squad amid quadruple push

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag laid down a gauntlet to Alejandro Garnacho before his late goal helped see off West Ham in the FA Cup on Wednesday. The hosts were staring a fifth-round exit in the face but ultimately came away with a 3-1 win to keep their hopes of further silverware alive. 

Garnacho was given a huge vote of confidence against the Hammers by starting on the left flank in place of Marcus Rashford. United fans believe that the youngster is destined for big things, although it took him a while to make his mark on the game. 

The Red Devils were decidedly off-colour in the first half and Said Benrahma finally made them pay after the break, firing into the top corner past David de Gea. United’s quickfire comeback started with Nayef Aguerd’s own-goal less than 15 minutes from time, while Garnacho and Fred made sure of the victory. 

Little by little, Garnacho grew in confidence and his late strike was particularly well taken, helping to propel United into the FA Cup quarter finals. Speaking after the final whistle, Ten Hag revealed that he had told Garnacho ‘it was time he had an impact as a starter’. 

The youngster has primarily had to settle for cameos off the bench since breaking into the first team, with only 10 combined starts across all competitions this term. Ten Hag’s tough pre-match message appeared to do the trick and Garnacho could yet kick on towards a regular starting spot. 

On his side’s performance, Ten Hag added: “This team hates losing. When it looked like they were going to lose, they stepped up the tempo. They fight and find ways to win. We have seen today an example of it, so I’m happy with that.”

The Dutchman led United to Carabao Cup glory on Sunday but he made no bones about the fact he is hungry for more silverware at Old Trafford. His side are currently in with a distant shout of winning the Premier League title, a decent shot of clinching the Europa League and now preparing for an FA Cup quarter-final. 

Ten Hag claims that United will have to ‘play well’ against Fulham to reach the last four, with Manchester City the only other major threat remaining in the draw. A dreary first-half display very nearly saw the Red Devils fall short against the Hammers and Harry Maguire claims that players were given a dressing down at the interval. 

“He [Ten Hag] went fairly strong, to be honest, he knew we had to up it,” said the England international. “We knew it, or we’d lose the game. In the last 30 minutes we found something.

“The crowd sucked the ball into the back of the net at the Stretford End. It was a tough game. The first half we weren’t at our best, a bit slow, I don’t know why. Maybe Sunday, with the celebrations, as we lacked a little bit of tempo.”

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