WATCH: Erik ten Hag defends disciplinary streak to weed out poor Manchester United culture

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag dishes out instructions during a Premier League game

FILE - Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag dishes out instructions during a Premier League game. Photo: Glyn Kirk/AFP

Published Sep 15, 2023


Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said he inherited a bad culture at Old Trafford as he refused to offer more details on Jadon Sancho’s future at the club on Friday.

Sancho has been ordered to train away from his teammates after taking to social media to complain he has been made "a scapegoat" under Ten Hag, who dropped the winger for a 3-1 defeat at Arsenal earlier this month due to poor performances in training.

United are also without another wide forward in Antony for Saturday's visit of Brighton after he was given a leave of absence to fight allegations of domestic abuse.

Ten Hag has earned the reputation of a strict disciplinarian during his time at United after also leaving out Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford last season for breaches of team discipline.

But the Dutch boss said he had been brought to the club to change the culture at the Red Devils.

"Strict lines is what the club asked me (to bring), because there was no good culture before last season. I had to set good standards," said Ten Hag.

"It is never someone makes one mistake, it is a whole process before you come to a certain outcome about strict lines."

The former Ajax boss added he had "no idea" how long Antony will be unavailable for selection.

"Of course he is disappointed, but he is okay," added Ten Hag on the Brazilian's state of mind.

Injuries have compounded those absences with Raphael Varane, Luke Shaw and Mason Mount still sidelined.

Sofyan Amrabat will also have to wait for his United debut.

But centre-backs Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof are fit despite being forced off through injury and illness respectively against Arsenal.

Their return means Harry Maguire will likely be denied his first start at club level this season.

England manager Gareth Southgate launched an impassioned defence of the centre-back after he was taunted by Scotland fans in the Three Lions' 3-1 friendly win at Hampden Park on Tuesday.

Maguire's mum then took to social media to hit out at the "totally unacceptable" abuse she claimed her son had been subject to by fans and pundits.

Ten Hag stripped Maguire of the United captaincy earlier this season due to his lack of minutes on the field, but also came out to defend his player.

"He does not deserve it, he is a great player and given great performances," he added.

"It's crazy but it's how it works and Harry has to block this (out) by (his) performances.”