Ten Hag: Chelsea will be a different challenge

Saturday 22 October 2022 06:59

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has insisted his side must be fully prepared for all different kinds of challenges, as we prepare to take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, in tonight's Premier League clash (17:30 GMT).

Currently boasting an impressive five-game unbeaten streak, Ten Hag's side will be no doubt brimming with confidence following our most recent triumph over Tottenham just three days ago, when goals from Fred and Bruno Fernandes helped us secure a valuable three points.

Set to face yet another difficult test in the shape of Graham Potter's Chelsea, our Dutch boss has amplified the need to carry on that momentum in his most recent matchday Q&A, while also being wary of the threat the Blues will no doubt pose in front of their own supporters.

Matchday Q&A | Ten Hag on Chelsea (A) Video

Matchday Q&A | Ten Hag on Chelsea (A)

Erik talks about Maguire, Martial, the United faithful and more in his exclusive matchday interview...

Erik firstly I wanted to start on the good news with Harry Maguire and Brandon Williams now back in training, with Donny van Beek also returning too. Is there any other team news?
''Aaron Wan-Bissaka is also back on the pitch, so that's good news, because we need everyone. We have so many games to cover, we need a big squad so that we can pick players and have a choice. I am happy with the process.''

How is Anthony Martial doing?
''He was on the pitch, but he is not available for tomorrow. We will see how he develops in the coming days.''

It was very clear that the energy and fitness level were very high on Wednesday evening – has that played a big part for your team?
''It's an important part, as football is all about running, of course, but also thinking. When you are fitter, you can make better decisions. Both are important.''

We're five games undefeated and Casemiro has featured in all of those. How impressed have you been with him and how he is fitting in with his team-mates?
''I think from game to game he is doing better. I was impressed by his performance on Wednesday. But what you see, every game he is getting better. I hope he keeps going in that process and I will do everything to support it.''

Erik's team news update for Chelsea


Ten Hag provided more detail on Martial and Wan-Bissaka's fitness ahead of Saturday's game.

You've now beaten Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs. Do you enjoy those high-profile games or is every game the same for you?
''Every game you have to be prepared. I really look forward to every game, as in the Premier League I think there are no easy games. All the teams are good, all the managers are good, the best players in the world are here, you have to be ready for every game. As in every league, there is a difference. You have top teams and middle and lower-class teams. If you face teams like Arsenal, [Man] City and Chelsea, you face a different challenge, that is clear.'' 

On Wednesday you defended together and attacked together and the crowd responded together in the ground. Just a word on the fans, as they will be there again on Saturday, noisy as ever...

''It's great. At home at Old Trafford, there was a fabulous atmosphere, just like every time we play there. But also away, they're are so many and it is pity they cannot all come tomorrow. As a squad we did as much as we could, including sending tickets back from the players to ensure as many fans could be involved and come to support us. I'm sure they will back us there and we feel the responsibility to get the right result and show the right performance at Stamford Bridge.''
You were involved in an exciting 4-4 draw with Chelsea during your time with Ajax – what was your experience like of playing at Stamford Bridge?
''I hope we don't experience tomorrow playing with 12. If we play with 11, I think we have a good chance to win.''

You have played against Graham Potter before, but what do you expect from his team tomorrow?
''I think it was great what he did at Brighton, he really deserved the transfer to a club like Chelsea with higher expectations. I wanted to face the best managers and I am looking forward to seeing him again.''