Erik seeks desire in top-four fight

Monday 03 April 2023 07:00

Erik ten Hag says his Manchester United side must demonstrate greater passion and desire in our fight to secure a top-four place in the Premier League.

The Reds were dragged right back into the chasing pack for a Champions League place with Sunday’s defeat to Newcastle United at St. James’ Park, which saw our north-east counterparts leapfrog us into third place in the league standings.

United remain a point ahead of Tottenham Hotspur in fifth, and with a game in hand on the London side, but we now have work to do if we are to secure a spot in Europe's top competition for next season.

Erik's post-match press conference Video

Erik's post-match press conference

Erik ten Hag briefs the media following the Reds' disappointing afternoon in Newcastle...

The boss was disappointed by the Reds’ performance on Tyneside, with second-half headers from Joe Willock and Callum Wilson winning it for the home side.

“I said after the game in the dressing room, ‘It can’t be that the opponent is angrier than we are,’ Ten Hag told BBC Radio Five Live.

“The race for the top four is going to be a fight, and you can only win that when you match the desire and passion of the opponent.

“Setbacks always you have to deal with, we have to leave this behind and only take the lessons from the determination, about the passion and desire.”

United will have no time to lick our wounds, with Brentford visiting Old Trafford on Wednesday night in the Premier League.

That’s the first of a double header in domestic action on home soil, as we are also set to host Everton in M16 next Saturday.

Talking points from St James' Park


Despite the result, there were still some details from our defeat at Newcastle worth honing in on.

Indeed, maximum points from those two outings could once again swing the top-four picture back in our direction, and Ten Hag is keen for his side to learn the lessons of this setback when they take to the pitch again at the Theatre of Dreams in midweek.

“We have to take this with us to win every game out on the pitch,” the boss continued.

“Wednesday is going to be a tough game again. We have to be ready, to fight and to battle and do better than today.”