Galatasaray vs Manchester United: What is Erik ten Hag’s advice to teenage sensation Kobbie Mainoo?

The 18-year-old was one of the standout players for United, as he produced a calm and composed performance in the middle of the park away to Everton.

File photo of Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag; Credit; Twitter/ @ManUtd
By Karthik Raman | Nov 29, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Manchester United resumed their domestic duty after the final international break of 2023 with a resounding 3-0 victory away to Everton in the Premier League at the weekend. Even though the final scoreline did not reflect the entire story of the contest, there were plenty of positives for United to take from that fixture. Alejandro Garnacho’s potential goal-of-the-season and Andre Onana’s brilliant performance in between the posts were a few of the many things to take out of the game.

However, one of the biggest positives was the impressive showing of teenage sensation Kobbie Mainoo. The 18-year-old was one of the standout players for Manchester United, as he produced a calm and composed performance in the middle of the park away to Everton. His fearless outing was praised by everyone, as Mainoo announced himself at the highest level in the best possible way. Manager Erik ten Hag was asked whether he has any concerns of starting him in a hostile atmosphere against Galatasaray in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

Erik ten Hag on Kobbie Mainoo

“No, we don’t have fear. If players are good enough, then they are old enough,” ten Hag, quoted by the club’s website, said ahead of the all-important match. Later, the manager added: “We are very pleased with the performance but it’s one performance and you have to do it on a consistent basis. But Kobbie is so mature, he knows that. We are confident he will do it. But first you have to prove [that], you are only as good as your last game.”

The Dutchman also urged the youngster to enjoy his game but also keep the focus on it. “Enjoy it first, but keep the focus on the game, so don’t get distracted from it, that your focus is going to things next to football. It’s about the game. You have to focus on your game, on your performance and get the right levels in. When we observe, if a player is getting distracted and moving away from football, we will tell him. But until that point, we don’t do. I see in training the levels, so I am not concerned in this moment that Kobbie is getting distracted from it,” he explained.

Erik ten Hag also warned his players to not get “too emotional,” as he urged them to keep their emotions under check. “You have to stay calm in your head and don’t get too emotional. You need emotions but you have to control it. Don’t give them anything, don’t give the refereeing as well that moment that they are going to take. So you have to stay away from such moments. But we know how to deal with it. You have to play confident and make it your game, it’s not that important how the opponent is playing, it’s important how we are playing, how we are dealing with possession, out of possession. We will make a good plan, but at the end of the moment, the players have to decide, they have to manage the game,” he stated.

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