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Monday, March 20, 2023

Man Utd loanee Axel Tuanzebe opens up on return to football

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Axel Tuanzebe knows the importance of continuing the momentum of regular minutes after making his Stoke City debut on Wednesday night. Tuanzebe left Manchester United on loan in January, signing for second-tier Stoke for the remainder of the season. The defender had only just returned to training at the start of the year after a lengthy spell on the sidelines before leaving on deadline day. The 25-year-old continued the latter stages of his rehabilitation programme with the Potters and managed 76 minutes in the 1-0 FA Cup defeat at home to Brighton. And while he admitted he was happy to return to action, the United loanee knows the importance of carrying momentum into the rest of the season. ALSO READ: How United should line up vs West Ham in FA Cup fixture “I was just happy to be back, dusting off rough edges and building from this now going forward. No matter what conditioning you do you can never replicate a game so I have to expose myself to as many games as possible to get back into top condition. “We’re focused on the league now, it’s a shame we’re out of the cup but it means we can double down on the league, get into a better position and hopefully fight for the playoffs.” Potters boss Alex Neil urged caution with managing Tuanzebe’s game-time after the defeat, praising the defender’s first performance at the Bet365 Stadium but admitting he is unsure whether the loanee will remain fit and firing all season. “He’s been in really good shape,” Neil added. “I thought his performance was excellent against top opponents, considering that’s his first proper game in I think 14 months. I think he deserves huge amounts of credit. “His tolerance levels are unknown – it’s not as if it’s a problem I foresee for Axel, he may well go and rattle out the rest of the games until the end of the season. “But ultimately, when you’ve been out for 14 months, how much can your body handle before it starts to break itself down? I know how you try to manage players back, to try to make sure we don’t over-expose them.” READ NEXT Erik ten Hag faces biggest rotation test with United squad United stance on Wout Weghorst and Marcel Sabitzer futures Two United players are doubts for West Ham FA Cup tie Erik ten Hag gives update on Anthony Martial injury situation Sancho and Rashford send message to Pogba following Juventus return Story SavedYou can find this story in  My Bookmarks.Or by navigating to the user icon in the top right.

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