Erik's Matchday Q&A in full

Thursday 08 September 2022 07:00

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag believes that despite his side's recent uptick in form, there is still work to be done to achieve success this season, starting with the beginning of the 2022/23 Europa League campaign at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Spanish side Real Sociedad are the Reds' opening opponents in the Europa League this season, and represent a chance for Ten Hag to earn his first European victory in charge of the Reds.

Of course, the Dutchman possesses a lot of European experience from his time in charge of Ajax and will hope to transfer this knowledge to United, as we look to recreate the success of the 2016/17 season, which concluded with the Reds lifting the trophy in Stockholm.

Ahead of Thursday's tournament curtain-raiser, the boss sat down with club media to discuss our visitors, issue important team news and more.

As the countdown to kick-off continues, you can read Erik's full Q&A below...

Matchday Q&A | Ten Hag on Real Sociedad (H) Video

Matchday Q&A | Ten Hag on Real Sociedad (H)

Erik speaks to club media ahead of our Europa League Group E opener...

Firstly Erik is there any team news and can we expect to see Anthony Martial back?
"No, Martial is not back. He’s progressing which we’re happy with, but he’s not ready to come in the games."

Four wins in a row – what do you think has changed in those matches and how pleased have you been with the performances and results?
"We are progressing but that is already behind us, we must look forward to the next game. And we are looking forward to it."
It’s matchday one of six, so it’s not as pressurised as a knockout game, but nevertheless how important is it to make a big impact in the first game?
"Huge because as you said it’s the first game in the group stage. We want to win every game and in the group stage we have to get into the top two [positions] to get to the next stages. So the first win is really important."

You’ve had lots of experience in Europe – do you enjoy European games?
"Always. European nights are always special. It’s great to compete with good clubs from different clubs with different styles and systems. I’m really looking forward to it."
What kind of game do you expect when you go up against a team from La Liga?
"Spanish football is always really skilful and technical and you see the great abilities of the players. You have to be aware of that and make a good plan to fight them and to win that game."

You mentioned about the different teams and styles you face in Europe - how much do you look forward to that challenge and how much does it help the team to face those different tests?
"It’s always good for the development of the team to face different systems and styles and to find answers and solutions. We come into Europe now and into the next phase of the season and it will help us as a team and we will get better from it and improve."
Watch Ten Hag and Dalot's press conference Video

Watch Ten Hag and Dalot's press conference

Press conference | See how Erik ten Hag and Diogo Dalot addressed reporters ahead of the Real Sociedad match...

What is the next test for your players? Their effort and attitudes are very good, they’re starting games better, they’re scoring nice team goals, they’re tougher to score against – what do you want to see next?
"There is still a lot to work on. You see that in the games and the results are good because we are hard to beat in this moment and we must keep that going. That attitude as a team and supporting each other is really important to be successful, but of course when you see the games you can see we can improve a lot still in all moments – possession, building up play into attack and into the final third, from the transition, defending the pressing… there is still a lot to do. But from game to game we will improve, I’m sure of that."