Ten Hag: We have to hit our highest levels

Tuesday 12 December 2023 08:00

Manchester United cannot afford to be anything other than perfect when Bayern Munich visit Old Trafford on Tuesday, says Erik ten Hag.

The Reds host Thomas Tuchel's side in our final UEFA Champions League group-stage match of the season, and need to win to stand a chance of progressing to the next round.

Ahead of what is sure to be a lively atmosphere at the Theatre of Dreams, Erik sat down with club media to discuss the match, give his latest team news, and analyse Bayern's threats.

You can read and watch the full interview below...

Matchday Q&A: Bayern Munich (H) Video

Matchday Q&A: Bayern Munich (H)

Matchday Q&A | Erik ten Hag says the task is clear for his team against Bayern Munich...

Erik, great game to look forward to, Bayern Munich at Old Trafford. How are you and the players feeling?
"Well we know what to do. We have to win. We want to stay in Europe so we have to play our best and we are able to do it. We are, everyone sees, quite inconsistent in this moment but also [have] highs in the team. The highs from performance levels. Sometimes it can drop below, but it is up to us to do it more regularly. You see in the last couple of weeks, in a couple of games, we played brilliant football and we have to make sure that we bring it tomorrow on the pitch."

Both teams come into the game on the back of defeats. Do you think that has any bearing on how the game plays out?
"I think we can take our belief from the game against Chelsea. We know also what happened at the weekend but we want to go back to those levels against Chelsea. When we do that - when we have the right spirit and mood, when we have that strong belief, I am sure the fans will be behind us. They will energise us, they will support us and we will come to a high level. That is necessary if you are to beat Bayern Munich."

You want to progress in the Champions League, but how important is it to do your job and make sure you have some form of European football next year?
"We can't think about what's going to happen. We have to think about winning the game and there is only one way there is still a chance. If you draw there is a very small chance. We have to win tomorrow. We have to be aware of that. We are aware of that. We make a good plan and then it is up to us to beat Bayern Munich."

Do you have any team news?
"There are not so many changes and the games are coming quickly. And sometimes [we decide] in the last moments. So Victor Lindelof, we don't know if he is available or he isn't. We will wait for the last moment for that."

We scored 12 goals in the competition and only four teams have scored more. With Bayern Munich's firepower do you think fans are expecting possibly a high-scoring game? How do you see it playing out?
"It is a very attractive team, Bayern Munich, but as you say, especially in the Champions League but also in other games, [against] Chelsea [for example], we created so many chances. This team can play very attractive and dynamic football [and] create from that point of view a lot of chances. I think we are able to score a lot of goals and I am aware they have a lot of individual quality so we have to defend very well."