Ten Hag: Let's rise to the occasion

Wednesday 29 November 2023 07:59

Erik ten Hag wants his Manchester United side to use the hostile reception expected at RAMS Park to our benefit on Wednesday evening.

The vast majority of the 52,000 people inside Galatasaray's ground will be baying for a home win, a result which would eliminate the Reds from contention for the Champions League knockout stages.

But, after seeing how his players can cope in difficult surroundings at Everton on Sunday, Ten Hag has a blueprint for approaching the game.

Here, in an interview with MUTV's Zarah Connolly, he previews the occasion, while discussing the involvement of several Reds, including the returning Rasmus Hojlund...

Erik, off the back of such a great performance and result against Everton, how was training and is there a good feeling around the squad?
“Of course it gives confidence. When you score such a beautiful goal, that gives a certain vibe. When you win 3-0 and all the strikers score, that gives belief and we have to build on that.”

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

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

Matchday Q&A | Erik’s views on Rasmus’s return, negotiating a tricky atmosphere in Turkey and balancing player minutes…

As you said, there were some moments of bliss in that game in attack and defensively too. Did it feel like a cohesive and together performance?
“Yeah, I think it was really a team performance from the first whistle, how we took control in that game. Then we had a tough period. We survived it and then second half we were very proactive, very dynamic, very brave and we killed the game.”

We have got a big game against Galatasaray now coming up, what are your thoughts on this team going into this game?
“Yeah, we have to do similar but to get the energy for it. But of course again in a different environment, with even more noise. We have to deal with that environment, with the situation and to make it our game.”

You mentioned the environment there and it's meant to be quite a hostile one, but does that build up the United energy? Even more so when everything is against us and we want to rise to that challenge?
“Very good question. And it's exactly like this. So you have to take the environment and rise even more to the occasion, and to take that as fuel to go into that game and to win.”

We’ve seen the boost of Hojlund being involved at training. How pleased are you that he's back, especially with how impactful he has been in the past Champions League games?
“He did magnificent. As a young player, you’re playing your first season in the Champions League, you already net five times and he's so eager to score even more. But also Anthony Martial scored at Everton and got a penalty. So he did very well. So it's good we have options there and we are pleased to go with those options into the game.”

Revealed: Travelling squad v Galatasaray


Have you seen the list yet? Erik ten Hag has named our group for Wednesday's vital Champions League match.

You speak about options there and Rashford is not involved due to his suspension and Anthony Martial was a key player at the weekend. How important is it for you that you've got so many good players that can just fit into that role straightaway?
“Yeah, we need that with our condensed schedule. You need a lot of players. It’s about [the] squad. It's not about only 11 players and some players sometimes they need patience and that's difficult also because actually they deserve to play because they are doing so well. But it's about a balance. You don't want to swap too much. You want to use players and to believe in all the players and to give confidence to all the players, but we also have to work on routines.”

We've seen younger players in the likes of Garnacho and Mainoo make a huge impact on that game and because there was such a great performance, will you be looking to keep things the same team-wise in this game?
“Yeah, I tried to answer that in your previous question. Yeah, it’s about finding the balance between the routines, but also managing the load of the players.”

And finally, we know how important these Champions League games are, even more so the result of this game and the next against Bayern. But how important is it for us to be together and a strong unit to give us the best possible chance in this game?
“That's the only way it can go. You have to be together. You have to stick together. You have to get on one page and execute.”

Ten Hag confident about 'mature' Mainoo


Erik says he has no concerns about starting Kobbie in Turkey, but cautions that Everton was 'just one game'.


The order of play is slightly different on matchday five, so here's what you can expect and when...

09:00 = Bruno Fernandes Q&A

11:00 = U19s v Galatasaray (live on MUTV in UK/Ire)

16:30 = Line-ups announced

16:40 = Match Day Live on MUTV

17:45 = Galatasaray v United (live radio commentary on MUTV)

*All timings in GMT.