Erik ten Hag has said Jadon Sancho’s exclusion from Manchester United’s squad is due to the “strict lines” he has put in place since taking over as the manager in summer 2022, and suggested the forward’s misdemeanour was not his first.
Sancho is training away from the squad after refusing to apologise for claiming Ten Hag did not tell the truth regarding why the forward was not in the matchday squad for the 3-1 loss at Arsenal on 3 September.
Ten Hag was asked if strictness was important. “Strict lines is the point, is what the club asked me because there was no good culture before last season so to set some good standards, that is what I did,” he said. “That is my job, to control the standards.”
Ten Hag hinted that Sancho’s conduct was not his first contravention. “It has never been when someone makes one mistake,” the Dutchman said. “It is a whole process before you come to a certain outcome about strict lines. If staff, players or whoever, if there is a structure to cross lines you have to be strong, absolutely.”
Ten Hag insisted that despite the Sancho situation his players are prepared for Brighton’s visit on Saturday. “The squad is strong, in good spirits and a good mood going into the game,” the 52-year-old said.
Antony has been granted a leave of absence to deal with being subjected to several allegations of violence against women, all of which the winger strongly denies. Ten Hag was asked how the Brazilian is.
“I have no idea [when he will be back]. Of course, he is disappointed but he is OK,” the manager said.
Lisandro Martínez is available following an injury doubt.