Erik ten Hag insists it’s his job to enforce strict discipline and change the culture at Manchester United following the decision to banish Jadon Sancho from first-team training.
Sancho is being made to train on his own at the academy facilities at Carrington after accusing Ten Hag of lying about the reasons behind his absence at Arsenal a fortnight ago and claiming to be a scapegoat.
Ten Hag is said to be furious at Sancho and is demanding an apology, but the player has refused to say sorry.
The United boss was reluctant to discuss the Sancho issue specifically at his press conference ahead of Saturday’s game at home to Brighton, but claimed that one of the reasons he was brought to Old Trafford was to improve the standards of discipline.
‘Strict lines is what the club asked me because there was no good culture before I entered last season,’ said Ten Hag, who faced a similar challenge to his authority from Cristiano Ronaldo last season.
Erik ten Hag insists it’s his job to enforce strict discipline and change the culture at Man United
Sancho is being made to train on his own at the academy facilities at Carrington after accusing Ten Hag of lying about the reasons behind his absence at Arsenal a fortnight ago
‘So to set good standards, that is what I did and it is my job to control the standards. Of course, it is never someone only makes one mistake, it is a whole process before you come to a certain outcome about strict lines. If staff or players or whoever, there is a structure to cross lines so you have to be strong.’
Ten Hag’s comments come after Manchester United released a statement on Thursday announcing that Sancho would be training alone due to a ‘squad discipline issue’.
The decision to exclude Sancho from first XI training came after he shared a social media post claiming that Ten Hag’s critical comments about his training performances were ‘completely untrue’.
When asked why Sancho was not selected for Manchester United’s clash with Arsenal at the time of the fixture, Ten Hag said: ‘Jadon, on his performances in training we did not select him.
Sancho was furious with Ten Hag’s comments and took to social media to say: ‘Please don’t believe everything you read! I will not allow people to say things that are completely untrue. I have conducted myself in training very well this week.
‘I believe there are other reasons for this matter that I won’t go into, I’ve been a scapegoat for a long time which isn’t fair!
‘All I want to do is play football with a smile on my face and contribute to the team. I respect all decisions that are made by the coaching staff, I play with fantastic players and I am grateful to do so, which I know every week is a challenge. I will continue to fight for this badge no matter what!’
The 23-year-old England international has refused to apologise for his public fall-out with the Manchester United manager and the feud has only intensified as a result.
More to follow…