Ten Hag looking for control in games

Thursday 06 October 2022 06:59

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has shown his steely determination to respond positively to the painful setback in the local derby, during his exclusive interview with club media ahead of our game at Omonia Nicosia.

The Europa League tie offers a chance to begin another winning run, after the 6-3 loss at the Etihad Stadium ended a streak of four consecutive victories in the Premier League.

Ten Hag appreciates Neil Lennon's men will bid to make life difficult in Cyprus but has called on his players to lift the mood as a taxing schedule unfolds this month.

Ten Hag's matchday Q&A Video

Ten Hag's matchday Q&A

The manager provides his thoughts on the Omonia Nicosia clash to club media...

Erik, after the setback at the weekend what response are you looking for from your team on Thursday night?
“We played a good opponent, they gave us some lessons but we have to face that we didn’t play well on Sunday. We did that, we took that and then we take the lessons and then we have to do better in the future.”

What kind of an opponent do you face in Omonia Nicosia?
“In Europe, it’s always a different approach, but it’s also always difficult. I played before there, in the stadium against an opponent so the ambience, we have to be ready for that. We have to be ready for a team that is well motivated. They play on the front foot. For them, it is the game of their life, so we have to be ready to face that and to play our game and that is one of the lessons from Sunday.”

And how do you assess the standings in the group so far?
“Yeah, we need to win, and we need two wins but start with one. Always go from game to game. We want to win this group and we want to win every game. That is the standard of Manchester United.”

It was a very professional, controlled game away at Sheriff. Is that the kind of template you look for in European away games?
“Not only European games. In all the games, we want to dominate, to dictate and at least control the game. So that is for every game, that is our approach and that will not change.”

It was good to see Anthony Martial back on the pitch, scoring goals at the weekend. How’s he looking in terms of fitness and form?
“After a good pre-season, he fell out and only played a half game against Liverpool and we are happy he’s back. But we will take it careful, step by step in a process to bring him back, but he played now almost a half, so 35 minutes, which is good and now we have to extend that. But from game to game, and we have a lot of games to cover.”

Finally, it’s a long trip to Cyprus and back, so is it good to have the game with Everton late on a Sunday to give you more recovery time?
“It doesn’t matter. If you have short recovery time or long recovery time, we have to be ready for the game on Sunday. But forget this for the moment, because we have to play on Thursday, so we have to focus on that.”