Ten Hag credits 'magnificent' Sancho as United salvage Leeds draw
Erik ten Hag backed Jadon Sancho to shine for the rest of the season after his first goal since September saw Manchester United salvage a 2-2 draw against Leeds.
Sancho played his first game since October 22 when he came on from the bench against Nottingham Forest earlier this month, having missed an extended period due to what Ten Hag described as "circumstances with fitness and mood".
The England international was introduced as a second-half substitute with United 2-0 down on Wednesday, as Wilfried Gnonto's early strike was followed up by an own goal from Raphael Varane.
However, Marcus Rashford halved the arrears with his 20th goal of the season before Sancho's effort squirmed through the clutches of Illan Meslier, denying managerless Leeds a first league win at Old Trafford since 1981.
Ten Hag hopes Sancho's display is a sign of things to come, saying of his introduction: "I wanted a different dynamic. In that moment we weren't in the game.
"Luckily it succeeded because we scored two goals. We're very happy.
"He's all the way back. We know he's a magnificent player. I think he can consistently have a big impact, but he has to work hard.
"It will motivate him to get more. I really enjoyed it, especially for him. It will strengthen him."
While Ten Hag was pleased with United's improvement over the course of the match, their slow start left him with a sour taste, given Gnonto found the net just 55 seconds after kick-off.
"It's mixed feelings. Of course in the end we were happy to win a point – but we dropped two points," he added.
"It's a very bad start, unacceptable, especially in a derby you have to be ready to battle and take responsibility. We didn't do that.
"I have to complement the team and their resilience to fight back. We made two great team goals."
United will soon have the chance to go one better against their old rivals, as they head to Elland Road on Sunday for the second instalment in a rare Premier League double-header.
After witnessing Leeds produce an energetic display on Wednesday, Ten Hag called on his team to win more duels next time out.
"We knew before how they would play with attitude and style. We didn't know what system they would play but you have to be ready and read the game," Ten Hag said.
"Definitely you have to win your battles. That is for everyone to take the responsibility. If you win those individual battles, you will win this game."