United went on to claim a 2-2 draw.
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“I wanted a different dynamic,” Ten Hag told the BBC when asked about his decision to bring Sancho on in the second half.
“In that moment we weren’t in the game. Luckily it succeeded because we scored two goals. Very happy. He’s all the way back.
“We know he’s a magnificent player. I think consistently he can have a big impact. But he has to work hard. It will motivate him to get more. I really enjoyed it, especially for him. It will strengthen him.
“If you play a derby you need a different attitude. You have to start and be ready and take responsibility, win your battles and be composed on the ball.”
Managerless Leeds are now a point above the relegation zone, whilst United are seven points behind Arsenal and missed out on a chance to go level with Manchester City.
Leeds stunned the Red Devils by scoring inside the first minute when Wilfried Gnonto lashed the ball into the bottom corner after Bruno Fernandes was robbed of possession.
Ten Hag says “it looked like” his players were surprised by Leeds’ quick start and he has “mixed feelings” about the performance.
“Of course in the end we were happy to win a point,” he added. “But we dropped two points. It was a very bad start, unacceptable, especially in a derby you have to be ready to battle and take responsibility. We didn’t do that.
“[We knew] they will go aggressive, front foot, against a team on a good run they’ll try to get into duels and that’s what they did.
“We created great chances. At half-time we had to equalise. If you start the second half the same as the first half you make it really difficult.
“I have to complement the team and resilience to fight back. We made two great team goals.”
Man Utd and Leeds meet again at Elland Road on Sunday.
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