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Erik ten Hag: ‘Antony can still improve despite strong start’

Erik ten Hag: ‘Antony can still improve despite strong start’

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag has said that there is room for “huge improvement” in Antony‘s game amid the attacker’s strong start to his Old Trafford career.

The Brazil international became the first Red Devils player to register in each of their first three Premier League appearances when he scored against Everton on Sunday night.

The 22-year-old levelled the scores at Goodison Park after Alex Iwobi had sent the Toffees ahead, before Cristiano Ronaldo won it for the 20-time English champions.

Antony has now netted against Arsenal, Manchester City and Everton in the league this term, and Ten Hag has praised the summer arrival for his performance against Frank Lampard‘s side.

However, the Dutchman has insisted that there is a lot more to come from the forward, who cost Man United in excess of £85m from Ajax in the latter stages of the summer window.

Antony celebrates pulling one back for Manchester United on October 2, 2022© Reuters

“I was quite [confident] that he could straight away have an impact, and in the first games he has had his good moments, he had his bad moments, but I think today he played his best game so far,” Ten Hag told MUTV.

“Now you see his running behind, and that is what I expect from him. Now I see his pressing, his defending is much better than in the first games and he has his dribbles, so I am happy with his performance, I am happy with his development.

“But I know there is still huge improvement and I know in the club and also in the Premier League that he needs to challenge. So he has to go every day to get out the best of him.”

Antony has also made three Europa League appearances for the club this season against Real Sociedad, Sheriff Tiraspol and Omonia but is yet to find the back of the net in the competition.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag and Everton manager Frank Lampard on October 9, 2022© Reuters

Ten Hag was also keen to pay tribute to Man United’s fighting spirit, with the team recovering from an early setback to pick up an important three points on Sunday night.

“We have seen it before in the last weeks. The team has that. There is a good spirit in the dressing room to keep that going, but I think we can make life easier when we press better in the second half,” he added.

“We also in the second half can dictate the game out of possession and we also had some good counter opportunities to score.

“There is room for improvement but today I don’t want to complain too much when we win 2-1 at Everton who are in a really good [place after] seven league games. It’s difficult to score here and we did twice, and I am happy and that is a compliment for the squad.”

Man United will be bidding to make it three wins in a row when they face Omonia in the Europa League on Thursday evening before returning to league action against Newcastle United on Sunday.

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