In between his contrasting performances against Leeds United, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag spoke with Alejandro Garnacho.
Garnacho wasted two good chances with United behind 1-0 at Old Trafford on Wednesday and was replaced when Leeds led 2-0 in the second half.
Ten Hag gave Garnacho a public pep talk in midweek, then replaced him with Jadon Sancho in the rematch against Leeds, but brought him back on the hour mark.
The 18-year-old came off the bench to score United’s second goal of the game, a stoppage-time winner over Fulham on November 13.
“Definitely (the ideal approach), I had some discussions with him about it, and that is about taking responsibility,” Ten Hag added. “He had those opportunities, but because he was in the perfect place, the team brought the ball to him.
“But also his investment – I don’t want to ignore it – but once he’s on our level, you have to score the goal. Okay, not every opportunity can be converted into a goal, but one has to be. That is taking accountability.”
Harry Maguire began only his third Premier League game since United’s season-low at Brentford on August 13, but the club captain is expected to slip back to the bench for the first leg of the Europa League play-off in Barcelona on Thursday.
Ten Hag was offended by the concept that Maguire had “returned” to the starting lineup for the first time in 15 days. “Return is an incorrect comment because he played against Reading and Bournemouth, and Harry will continue to play more games.
“We need that because we are Europe’s only team competing in four competitions.”
Manchester United’s victory over Leeds was tainted by tragedy, with fans singing about the Munich air disaster and two Leeds fans killed in Istanbul. Both clubs issued a joint statement condemning the chanting, but Ten Hag appeared to be unaware of the bilious nature of the songs played.
“Football is the big winner from those two games, and I think everyone in north England will be proud,” Ten Hag said of the matches between United and Leeds.
“I didn’t sense any hatred. I thought it had a great atmosphere, a great atmosphere. In a rivalry like this, there has to be. We had a great time.”