Erik's instruction to players ahead of derby
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has issued a demand to his players in advance of Saturday's big derby with City at Old Trafford.
The boss is under no illusions that his in-form side must be at our very best in order to avenge the defeat at the Etihad Stadium earlier in the season, and close the gap on the second-placed Blues in the Premier League table to one point.
For that to happen, it would be a special occasion at Old Trafford but Ten Hag accepts the task is a big one. The Dutchman was speaking before City's shock 2-0 Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat at Southampton, yet the challenge against the reigning champions remains just as difficult.
“I think we can compete with every team but obviously Manchester City, when they’re at their best, they are hard opponents for everyone," Ten Hag told talkSPORT. "But we have to play our best and then we have a chance.
"If we do it, [play] like in City [in the 6-3 defeat], then you don’t have a chance. So it’s up to us to have a good team, the right co-operation, the right attitude on the pitch, especially if you talk about attitude. So a winning attitude. That is what we need on Saturday.”
In the same interview, the manager explained why he has been able to oversee such a great run of form, with the Reds winning 11 of our 15 games in the Premier League since the loss at Brentford in his second fixture in charge, and also progressing in both domestic cups, ensuring we are the only English side still in four major competitions.
“It’s by standards," he stated. "By every day, living along high standards. It’s by the team, building a team.
"Nobody is bigger than the team, everybody has to contribute to the team. That’s not about 11 players but the whole squad. It’s the team around the team.
"All the staff – the medical staff, the performance staff, the coaches, the analysts. Everyone has one aim and they’re contributing to that and working hard for that with togetherness. When we keep this going, we can achieve a lot.”