Erik: We hate losing

Thursday 09 March 2023 07:00

"You don't want to lose; we hate losing. And now we have to take the lessons and [start] a new run."

Those were Erik ten Hag's words, when he was asked about the mood in the Manchester United camp ahead of our clash with Real Betis at Old Trafford tonight (Thursday).

La Liga's fifth-placed side travel to the Theatre of Dreams for the Europa League last-16 first leg, with kick-off set for 20:00 GMT.

As usual, Erik conducted his exclusive pre-match interview with club media, where he discussed the threat the Seville side will pose and outlined his determination to get back to winning ways.

Read on to find out what the boss said in his Q&A with MUTV's Mark Sullivan...

Matchday Q&A | Ten Hag on Real Betis (H) Video

Matchday Q&A | Ten Hag on Real Betis (H)

Erik expresses his determination to get back to winning ways, and identifies Real Betis's threats...

Erik, how do you summarise the last few days at Carrington after Sunday's result?
"[It was a] big defeat and we are all disappointed - we were mad. Now we have to reset and bounce back."

Everybody is looking for a reaction tomorrow night. What does the right reaction look like for you?
"We need a win, but we play a very good opponent. We have to be ready for that. We are aware that when we play our best we have a good chance to win."
How important has it been to keep sight of the fact that one result, however bad, is still only game in the campaign and there's still a lot to play for?
"That is obviously the truth but we can't lose 7-0 against Liverpool. We have to take that, but for the rest you are right. It's one loss and we are in the right position - don't forget that - right position in the league and still playing in three [competitions] and we can still win a lot. We have to take the lessons and move forward."

There is a lot of experience in this squad, so how important is that going to be as we look to get back on another winning run?
"We all know [how important it is] and even we have a [lot of] experience with a lot of players who win a lot of trophies, [and] we know in seasons you always have setbacks. We know we have won a lot of games in a row and we had a really good run and we know losing is also a part of it. But you don't want to lose; we hate losing. And now we have to take the lessons and [start] a new run."
How important is the reaction of the supporters going forward as we look to get back on track?
"It's about unity but we let them down on Sunday and we don't want to. We are disappointed in that, we are disappointed in ourselves but we have seen the whole season we have a really strong bond and we have to keep that but the team has to give the first energy. Give the first action and then the crowd will be behind us."

We faced Real Sociedad and Barcelona in the Europa League already this season, plus Betis and Cadiz in friendlies. Do you think that experience will be useful for this game?
"Oh yeah, but we know Spanish football is technically very strong and this is an example of it. So they have a lot of skilful players so we are really looking forward, it's a really good challenge for us."

Real Betis announce their travelling squad


There's an apparent injury boost for Manuel Pellegrini ahead of Thursday's big game at Old Trafford.

How is the squad shaping up, there was a suggestion some were carrying a few knocks at the weekend?
"Yeah, we have strong programme, but I think we are quite good. Only it's a disappointment [that] Marcel Sabitzer is not available, as well Anthony Martial. Anthony Martial is back on the pitch. We will see. For the rest, everyone is available and we are ready for the game."