Football

‘If you’re good enough you’re old enough’ – ten Hag backs Mainoo to keep impressing

Man Utd boss Erik Ten Hag

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has urged youngster Kobbie Mainoo to keep focused on football and build on his impressive full debut.

The 18-year-old started for the first time in the 3-0 win over Everton and impressed in the centre of midfield with his composure and calmness on the ball.

United take on Galatasaray on Wednesday in a crucial Champions League clash with Mainoo vying for a second consecutive start, and ten Hag has encouraged the youngster to build on Sunday’s performance.

“We are very pleased with the performance but it’s one performance,” ten Hag said.

“You have to do it on a consistent basis but Kobbie is so mature and he knows that.

“We are confident he will do it but first he has to prove, as we all have to prove, you’re only good as your last game.

“We don’t have fear. If players are good enough then they are old enough.”

The United boss was also asked how he ensures Mainoo copes with the pressure of being a first-team player, adding: “Enjoy it, but keep the focus. Keep the focus on the game.

“Don’t get distracted from it so your focus is going to things next to football. It’s about the game, you have to focus on your game, on your performance, to get the right levels.

“If a player we observe is getting distracted from it, when he’s moving away from football, we will tell him. But until that point, we won’t do it.

“I see in training, the levels, so I’m not concerned at this moment that Kobbie is getting distracted from it.”

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