Erik ten Hag has promised to play a strong Manchester United side in their Carabao Cup third round tie against Aston Villa on Thursday night.
Anthony Martial made his first appearance in four weeks as a 65th minute substitute in the 3-1 Premier League defeat at Villa on Sunday and is set to be involved in the Old Trafford tie.
United will not make a decision on Jadon Sancho and Antony until their final training session on Wednesday afternoon. Sancho has missed the last three games through illness and Antony has been absent with a muscular injury.
“First of all, all the games we play, there’s only one aim: we have to win, that is the most important,” Ten Hag said at an event with supporters at the United training complex on Wednesday. “We have to win so we put the best players on the pitch we have for every game. We make a proper plan, analyse our line-up and tomorrow that will be the same.
“But of course, we have a lot of games to cover, this is a different league, we plan some changes but we want to play a strong team and we have only one aim we want to win tomorrow and go to the next round.
“There are players coming back but a question mark. As you have seen, Anthony Martial was back for the last 20 minutes at Villa, so we are happy with that.
“We hope he can continue this tomorrow, he will be in the squad, he will have minutes, definitely, if he’s recovered good. Yesterday we had a day off. Today, we have the final training and we will see. But I think he’s capable to play for minutes.
“And the rest, Jadon Sancho: we have to wait, Antony: we have to wait today, final training.”
“I am open to bringing young players,” Ten hag reiterated. “You have seen the last couple of games we bring in Alejandro Garnacho because he deserves it by his performances on the training pitch, and if players deserve it and can contribute to our success, we will bring them.
“So I’m also open for other players and Manchester United have a big reputation for bringing up young players from the academy into the first team. I’m really one who will back that process, I will be really positive in the process, I will have communication with the academy, with the coaches from the Under-21s. We have in our coaching staff someone who is responsible for the communication with the Under-21s and the academy, so we have a good line.
“But, in the end, players have to deserve their chances, players have to contribute because it’s about winning. If we can, we will bring them.”