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Manchester United winger Antony has confessed he found Erik ten Hag’s decision to deploy him as a left-back in Sunday’s 4-3 win over Liverpool “a bit strange.”

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Initially benched for the FA Cup quarter-final, Antony entered the fray with 20 minutes remaining and made a significant impact, scoring a crucial goal to send the match into extra time.

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During the extra period, United fell behind to Harvey Elliott’s strike, prompting Ten Hag to adopt an all-out attacking approach. In a tactical reshuffle, Antony was asked to fill the left-back role alongside Harry Maguire, who had moved into attack, while Diogo Dalot remained at right-back and an injured Bruno Fernandes occupied a central position.

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Footage circulated on social media showing Antony’s apparent surprise at the instruction, but the Brazilian winger later clarified that he was willing to accept the challenge for the sake of the team.

“When the coach mentioned that, it seemed a bit strange to us, but I am willing to sacrifice for the team, sacrifice for the group,” Antony explained to TNT Sports.

Ten Hag, in turn, commended Antony’s resilience and highlighted his recent progress, likening his performance to that of the player he worked with during their time at Ajax.

“It’s crucial for him,” Ten Hag remarked to beIN SPORTS. “He has faced difficulties. Initially, he wasn’t himself, which he acknowledges. Then, his confidence wavered, and now he’s fighting back.

“In the past two weeks, we’ve witnessed his resurgence. I see glimpses of the Antony I knew from Ajax, and even from his early days here. He’s determined to bounce back, as evident from his goal.

“Moreover, when deployed as a left-back, he displayed commendable defensive capabilities. While he’s not a natural defender, he showcased his versatility and goal-scoring prowess,” Ten Hag added.

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