Manchester United coach Eric ten Hag confirmed that Jadon Sancho will not return for the Carabao Cup match on Wednesday evening against Nottingham Forest, despite his return to training since last Tuesday after a long period of time.
Sancho has not played for United since being substituted on 52 minutes in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea on 22 October. He was initially ruled out due to illness right before the World Cup break, but was subsequently not part of the team’s training camp in Spain in December.
Ten Hag explained at the time that the £73m signing was not “fit enough” to be included, suggesting Sancho was also suffering from psychological problems. He was placed on an individual program to improve his fitness and returned to his team mates in first-team training last week.
It’s no surprise Sancho didn’t return straight into the mix for this weekend’s clash with Premier League leaders Arsenal, but Ten Hag also ruled he wouldn’t be taking any chances with Forest either.
“All the players who weren’t available for the Arsenal game, so [Diogo] Dalot, [Anthony] The United boss said on Tuesday that Martial and Sancho are also unavailable for tomorrow.
Forest’s first game in a two-legged semi-final gives United an excellent chance of winning a first title in six years to end an agonizing drought by their usual standards. The winner of the tie will face either Newcastle or Southampton in the final at the end of next month.
“It’s about winning titles, so we have a good chance but we have to get out of the game,” Ten Hag explained. “Now we play the two Forest matches, so focus on the first leg, don’t think about the future because that will distract us, so tomorrow’s goal is to win that match.
“It’s the best feeling you can get, winning the title, and I’ve had the luck in my career to win some titles. It’s great, especially for the fans, it’s very nice and I think the fans here have some experience, especially the older ones, but in this period, Manchester hasn’t won.” United with titles and that was a very long time ago. We are aware of that fact and we have to do it again.”
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