Ten Hag: We must take our opportunities

Sunday 17 December 2023 09:00

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag believes his side will get opportunities against Liverpool at Anfield, and must be ready to take them when they arrive.

We travel across the M62 this Sunday afternoon after a disappointing couple of results at Old Trafford over the past week, against Bournemouth and Bayern Munich. 

However, this has not dampened the Dutchman's belief that we will find opportunities to turn our fortunes around against our Merseyside rivals at Anfield. 

The Reds will also make the journey without suspended skipper Bruno Fernandes, currently serving a one-match ban for accumulation of yellow cards in the Premier League, but will be buoyed that two more players have become available for selection in recent days.

The boss discussed this, and more, when he sat down exclusively with club media ahead of the 16:30 GMT clash. You can read, and watch, everything he had to say below...

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

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

Matchday Q&A | Erik discusses what qualities United need to show at Anfield, as we prepare to face Liverpool...

A challenging week, particularly with the number of injuries you've got. Any update on the likes of Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw?
"Yes, so, Harry Maguire; he's out for the weekend. I don't think for a very long time, I think he will work very hard to get back as soon as possible. And, Luke Shaw; he trained this morning and so I'm confident he will be available for the weekend."

Any other players returning? The likes of Rashford and Martial were ill.
"Martial is not available for the weekend, but Rashy, he's also back in training and I think he's ready to play."

And will you get anybody back for the busy festive fixture period, anybody else close to a return?

So, you work with what you've got understandably. So, it's a big test of character for your side on Sunday, what qualities do they need to show?
"Well, as you say, character. That is what we definitely need. But also, go there, and as you talk about character, and you talk about belief and confidence to go there, and everyone knows it's tough there. But also, it's great for a player, a team, to go there, to challenge them. And we know we have to play our best football but, I think when we do everything what we can do, what we're capable of, then we will get our opportunities. And then it's about taking those opportunities."

What are your thoughts on Liverpool's form right now?
"They are top of the league and so, in a tough league as the Premier League, it tells that they are doing very good. That it's a very good team, it's very good players, individual-wise. And so, yeah, all the rewards to the manager, to the coaching staff and how they perform, but there are opportunities against them, and we have to believe in those opportunities."

Without the suspended skipper Bruno, who leads the league in chances created, who do you see stepping up to that role and helping you be creative?
"We have all sorts who can do that. And we have our ideas, as I say, how we can create chances."

Any thoughts on the captaincy or is that kept in-house for now?
"No, it's not a secret, but first I want to tell the player and the team who it is."