Erik: Luton away will be test of character

Saturday 17 February 2024 08:00

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag was clear in his admiration for Luton Town and their season so far, while speaking to club media in an exclusive interview before Sunday’s game.

Ten Hag’s Reds will make the trip down to the Hatters’ Kenilworth Road home for a 16:30 GMT kick-off in the Premier League, looking to follow up last weekend’s win at Aston Villa and maintain our unbeaten start to 2024.

Luton have also enjoyed a strong new year so far, however, losing just one of their seven matches, and Erik says that Rob Edwards’s in-form side will provide an alternative sort of challenge to the one we overcame away to Villa most recently.

Matchday Q&A: Ten Hag on Luton (A) Video

Matchday Q&A: Ten Hag on Luton (A)

Matchday Q&A | Get an early look at Erik's exclusive Luton preview, which begins with his thoughts on Sunday's hosts...

“[It will be] very different,” the manager says, speaking to MUTV’s Mark Sullivan, ahead of the Luton clash.

“And we have to go from game to game, every game is, for us, a cup final. And definitely this is a big test for us, a big test of character. 

“And now we have to prove ourselves on Sunday there because it's a very good team across the whole season, but especially lately, they are improving their standards. They are improving their performances. 

“They are getting good results in, so we have to play our best, but we are capable of it. That is what we have proven the last couple of weeks, where we show good levels.”

After 23 games of their debut Premier League campaign, the Hatters are currently a point above the relegation zone, although their position towards the latter end of the table does not tell the full story of their season so far.

Edwards’s team have proved tricky opponents for clubs across the division, as Ten Hag will know full well from the reverse meeting with Luton in November, when only Victor Lindelof’s second-half strike separated the sides on a day the Reds had to work hard for our rewards.

Erik has been impressed with our upcoming opponents for a while now, even if is the recent results that display their most consistent period of the term to date.

90 in 20: United v Luton Video

90 in 20: United v Luton

Extended highlights of the Reds' final league outing before the November international break are available to watch...

“They have done very well across the whole season,” he adds.

“I think they almost never lost a game by more than one goal difference. But lately they improved really. And I'm impressed. 

“But we don't take so much from it. We have to look at ourselves. We have to improve our game. And that is also what I said. I was very pleased with the performance and of course with the results at Villa and also lately. 

“But we have to make our game better and we have to raise our standards and there is room for improvement, and we have to show that on Sunday.”