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Ten Hag backs embattled Antony

Antony Manchester United Antony - The Canadian Press

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag believes Antony can still break through at the Old Trafford club.

The Dutchman defended the 24-year-old Brazil winger on Tuesday a day after reports emerged the Red Devils are willing to cut their losses on the player they bought from Ajax for £82m million in the summer of 2022 in the second-largest transfer in team history.

Since arriving at United, Antony has produced just four league goals in 45 appearances and has not scored this season. He was an unused substitute in the team's 2-1 loss to Fulham in a match that saw academy product Omari Forson handed a debut start ahead of the Brazilian.

"I backed him for a long time," ten Hag said. "I know his abilities. I know from the past he is unstoppable. He's one of the quickest in the first 10 yards. He is resilient, he's a character and he will fight back and I back him."

Ten Hag also defended the decision to start Forson who cut a largely anonymous figure during the match.

"I brought in Kobbie Mainoo [to the first team]," Ten Hag said. "Now, after six weeks, the same people who were questioning it are saying he has to go to the England squad. [Alejandro] Garnacho - what is the manager doing? What is the staff doing? Similar. They need time. Omari came on and it's not easy. We didn't play our best game but he plays a reasonable game and showed that he can be a player for the future."

United currently sit sixth in the Premier League, eight points adrift of Aston Villa for the final Champions League place. The team returns to action on Wednesday when they visit Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup Round of 16 tie.