Erik ten Hag has made a major Jadon Sancho admission after the winger returned from an extended absence from the side.

Sancho starts for Man Utd for the first time since October in today Premier League clash against Leeds United at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag’s side went toe to toe with the Whites just four days ago in a topsy-turvy 2-2 draw. That day Sancho took another step in his comeback from a long-running fitness issue, scoring the equalising goal from the bench.

Sancho has since been rewarded for his heroics with a start in the reverse fixture in place of Alejandro Garnacho.

Ten Hag explains Sancho’s absence

Before the game, Ten Hag maintained that sending Sancho away from the Man Utd first team picture was the right decision.

However, the Dutchman claimed that the England star is now in a “better place” and challenged him to stake his claim for more first-team involvement in the coming months.

Speaking to Sky Sports Ten Hag explained: “He’s growing. He’s definitely in a better place than two or three months ago. When he was away from the team, I think it was the right decision from him to do it.

“He worked hard on himself and now he is back. Now he has to find himself back in the team. That has to go step-by-step, now he’s coming from the bench, so I hope he can make the next steps.

“I think it’s in his own hands. So if he wants, he can do – and this team is great to play in.

“It will give you joy but I really enjoy seeing him play the way he did with so much confidence, with so much belief, really direct. It was great to see him play in this attack.

“It’s clear it’s a difficult period that he finds himself out of. I’m pleased and I’m proud he did it. So I will back him, the coaches will back him, the team is backing him and supporting him in this process and finally he has to do it by himself.”