Ten Hag hails two Man Utd stars after knocking Reading out of FA Cup

Erik ten Hag hailed two-goal hero Casemiro and winger Antony after Manchester United beat Reading 3-1 in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday night.

Casemiro was excellent and scored United’s first two goals, both excellent finishes, but the second the most notable as he calmly placed the ball into the corner from a huge distance.

The Brazilian was seen as more of a defensive midfielder when he signed from Real Madrid over the summer, but he is clearly a threat going forward as well and Ten Hag is thrilled with his input.

‘We know he’s a great player,’ the  said on ITV. ‘In Madrid’s midfield with [Toni] Kroos and [Luka] Modric it was great. I think he’s capable, you see offensively he enjoys it. What I like is dynamic football with variations, many position switches.’

Ten Hag added to the BBC: ‘He [Casemiro] is really important with all his experience but he is such a smart player and intelligent.

‘He knows the positions, how to deal with the ball and also he is creative as well and we are really happy with him. He is important for the improvement of the team.’

Casemiro’s first goal was thanks to an excellent through ball from Antony, with the winger having one of his better games for United and Ten Hag encouraged by his progress.

‘I think he’s growing. We want him to be more dynamic, variable and direct. Today was a lovely pass for the first goal,’ said the Red Devils boss.

‘We are happy with his improvement in this moment. There’s big potential in him and he has to develop it every day.’

United head into the next round and are still in four competitions, with the League Cup, Europa League and distant hopes of a Premier League title challenge still on.

‘We want to win every game,’ said the boss. ‘We have a squad and we have to plan as well but there is a big responsibility for the players to be ready, be fit. It is about recovery, sleep and football.’

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