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‘Casemiro is a fighter’

Updated on: 21 April,2024 07:25 AM IST  |  London

Boss Erik ten Hag backs Brazilian midfielder for success in tonight’s FA Cup semis v Coventry; says he will give Man Utd much-needed boost

‘Casemiro is a fighter’

Man Utd’s Casemiro. Pic/Getty Images

Erik ten Hag claimed Manchester United’s squad is not fractured after revealing Alejandro Garnacho apologised for liking social media posts criticising the manager’s handling of the Argentine forward.

Garnacho gave ‘likes’ to a pair of messages on X that slammed Ten Hag’s decision to substitute him at half-time of last weekend’s 2-2 draw against Bournemouth.
The 19-year-old quickly unliked both posts and has now said sorry to Ten Hag, who said Garnacho would remain involved for troubled United’s FA Cup semi-final against Coventry on Sunday.

‘Alejandro has to learn a lot’

Quizzed on whether the Garnacho incident was evidence of player unrest with Ten Hag, the under-fire Dutchman said: “I wouldn’t point to that. “Alejandro is a young player, has to learn a lot. He apologised for it and after that we move on.”

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Erik ten HagErik ten Hag

Battling to save his job in the midst of a turbulent season, Ten Hag cannot afford a shock loss to second tier Coventry at Wembley. He will need an improved 
performance from United midfielder Casemiro, who has received criticism for his recent display. 

Former Liverpool star Jamie Redknapp said Casemiro’s lethargic effort against Bournemouth last week was like he was playing in a charity match. 

But Ten Hag backed the Brazilian’s value to United, saying: “I think we needed the six [position] when I arrived here and last season Casemiro was fantastic. This season he struggled with a bad injury he never had in his career, but he is such a winner. Always in his career he has won, everywhere he was there will be success. 
“He is a fighter, why he also won big trophies, he’s a personality and he’s a very important player and he will give us success.” 

Meanwhile, United started planning for next season when it was announced later Friday that Jason Wilcox has left second-division Southampton to become the new technical director at Old Trafford with immediate effect.

Hoping for high standards

Wilcox, 53, joined Southampton last summer as their director of football, making the switch from Manchester City where he developed a reputation for nurturing young talent as well as recruiting some of the best prospects. 

“Jason Wilcox has joined Manchester United as technical director with immediate effect,” said a United statement. 

“He will work with all technical areas of the football department to achieve the highest standards of performance.”

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