Manchester United youngsters playing to impress Erik ten Hag, says academy coach

Justin Cochrane has told Manchester United’s website the club’s young players are playing to impress Erik ten Hag.

Cochrane is United’s head of player development at academy level, and he is excited for the opportunity the club’s young players could have under the incoming manager.

He explained: “There’s a new manager coming in. I’m sure he will be playing a style of football that’s required at this football club and he comes also with a background of developing youth players.

“So for these young players who are going to play at Old Trafford, it’s a great opportunity for them to play well and stake a claim in the exciting times ahead for the young players in the first team.”

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Playing to impress Erik ten Hag

The FA Youth Cup final lies ahead next week and more than 45,000 home fans are set to attend, with the match against Nottingham Forest being held at Old Trafford.

The chance to win silverware is a fantastic opportunity, with United seeking to win the trophy for the first time since 2011.

The extra incentive of playing to impress Erik ten Hag is just one added motivational factor to throw into the mix, to spur United’s youngsters on.

Alejandro Garnacho has already made the jump to make his first team debut. Under-18s teammates Dan Gore and Sam Mather have also trained with the first team in recent weeks.

Under-23s regulars Alvaro Fernandez, Shola Shoretire and Hannibal have all recently made the first team bench, with the latter featuring for the first team against Liverpool.

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Anthony Elanga has also stepped up as a first team regular. He was playing in the under-19s UEFA Youth League when the season began.

New boss Erik ten Hag is a big backer of youth talent. He has handed debuts to 21 different Ajax youngsters during his time at the club.

He will certainly be keeping track of United’s progress in the FA Youth Cup final, and making himself aware of the club’s youngsters, who he can feed into his plans for next season.

  1. Manchester United 4-2 Scunthorpe (Mather, Garnacho, Oyedele, McNeill)
  2. Reading 1-3 Manchester United (Mainoo, Mather, McNeill)
  3. Manchester United 4-1 Everton (McNeill, Mainoo, Mather, Garnacho)
  4. Manchester United 2-1 Leicester (Garnacho x 2)
  5. Manchester United 3-0 Wolves (McNeill x 2, Garnacho)
  6. Manchester United 2-1 Nottingham Forest (Bennett, Garnacho x 2)
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