Ten Hag explains added incentive for Sunday

Friday 26 May 2023 12:30

Erik ten Hag is aware of an added motivation for finishing the Premier League season on a high by beating Fulham this weekend.

Although our Champions League place was clinched with the 4-1 victory over Chelsea, there is already plenty to play for on Sunday with third spot still up for grabs.

Victory against the Cottagers would secure that position, even if Newcastle United win at Stamford Bridge in their final-day encounter.

However, there is also the prospect of equalling an all-time club record.

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Erik's press conference

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Three points would equal our record of 27 home victories in all competitions during the 2002/03 campaign. Sir Alex Ferguson's Premier League champions achieved a win ratio of 81.8 per cent from the 33 fixtures at Old Trafford, scoring 81 goals in the process.

Our triumph over Chelsea took us to 26 victories at the Theatre of Dreams this term, the same as we mustered in 2010/11. Sir Alex's side recorded a win ratio of 89.7 per cent in home games that season and claimed the title again.

Can we go one better this weekend? The manager says he certainly wants his team firing on all cylinders, with the Emirates FA Cup final against Manchester City still to come on Saturday 3 June.

"Of course, we prepare for that [the cup final] very well," Erik said in a post-match interview on Thursday night.

"First, we have to use the game on Sunday as part of our preparation. We want to be third in the league. I think we can achieve a home record, which is another thing to play for. Also, to stay in the rhythm, stay in the focus. 

"We have, in one week, a very big game against a very big team but you always have a chance in football. We proved that in January, when we beat them [City]."

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27: 2002/03
26: 2010/11, 2022/23 so far
24: 2006/07, 2008/09
22: 1964/65, 1994/95, 1998/99, 2009/10, 2012/13