Ten Hag: We know why we are here

Thursday 20 April 2023 07:00

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag believes his players are both ready and willing to battle for the cause, as we seek progression to the final four of this season's Europa League against Sevilla.

The Reds are currently all level with Andalusian outfit following last week's 2-2 draw at the Theatre of Dreams, with everything to play for heading into the vital quarter-final second-leg showdown in Andalusia (20:00 BST).

Having seen off Premier League strugglers Nottingham Forest 2-0 at The City Ground on Sunday in our last outing, United will hope to carry momentum from our victory in the East Midlands, as we chase down further success in yet another knockout competition.

Previewing our tie with Jose Mendilibar's side in what is set to be an all-action encounter, the boss spoke exclusively to club media and you can both read, and watch, everything the Dutchman had to say ahead of kick-off down below...

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

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

Erik discusses his squad's mood, selection headaches and more ahead of our crucial clash in Andalusia...

Erik it’s the eve of a huge European quarter-final second leg. Can you gauge the mood of the squad and the staff right now?
“Very good. They’re really looking forward [to it]. I think the spirit is fantastic. We know why we are here. Last week, we drew so tomorrow we have to win, because we want to go a round further.”

You have a huge decision to make, as always as Manchester United manager, with which players to select from the start. What’s that headache like as the Man Utd manager?
“I don’t have a headache [laughs]. Some players came to training after their injuries today, so we have to wait for their reactions, and then tomorrow we will take decisions, so we have our scenarios, we have our plans. Tomorrow we will take one, but we have to win this game.”

I don’t know what it was like in that dugout but as fans watching last week’s game, the bad luck we had in that second half was unbelievable. Do you take a lot of confidence from that first 60 minutes were you dominated against Sevilla?
“Yeah, definitely. We also said after that we had to look in the mirror, but also it was bad luck as well. In the end with 10 [men], we conceded the goal. It was, I think, a really unlucky goal. It was a deflected goal, but it is what it is. You can do nothing for it, the only thing you can change is the future. That’s tomorrow, so we have to be ready for that game.”

Just finally, it’s beautiful here in sunny Seville, it’s a fantastic stadium, it’s going to be a partisan support. How much are you looking forward to playing here in what should be a massive game?
“Yeah, always when a fanatic crowd is against you, you’re looking forward [to it]. I think what you said, the atmosphere will be brilliant. The pitch is great and we have to be ready for that game. We want to go to the semi-final and then you have to give everything, because 99 per cent is not enough.”