How Erik wants United to play

Saturday 11 November 2023 08:00

Erik ten Hag says Wednesday's opening 25 minutes against FC Copenhagen provide a blueprint for how he wants his team to play going forward.

United were comfortably ahead at Parken Stadium, controlling the game at 2-0 up before Marcus Rashford's controversial red card led to a subsequent 4-3 defeat.

But Ten Hag, in his matchday Q&A, preferred to focus on the good things the Reds did in the Danish capital as he challenged his players to repeat that when Luton visit on Saturday...

Erik, first and foremost, how is everyone feeling about the Champions League game in midweek and obviously what happened with VAR and the luck that seemed to go against us that night?
“Yeah, the outcome was definitely not on our side. We are very disappointed, clear, but also I think what we have to take away is that we played very good in the first part of the game and we took the lead 2-0, winning the game and playing very good. We scored two really good goals and we were controlling and dominating the game. The red card changed everything. We already talked about that. Don’t forget it, it’s also our mistakes but what I want to take is the first part of the game. That is what we have to take into the next game against Luton.”

Matchday Q&A: Ten Hag on Luton (H) Video

Matchday Q&A: Ten Hag on Luton (H)

Matchday Q&A | Erik ten Hag on VAR, returns for two ex-Reds and the football he wants to see when Luton come to town...

It just seems that so many of these subjective VAR decisions are going against us right now. Is that something that can be looked at, perhaps?
“Yes, but I think as managers collectively, we have to talk with the PGMOL to improve the football and together find solutions, not debate it in public.”

That first 25 minutes, the team played with so much poise and so much control. Is that what you want to see more of going forward? That’s the way you ideally want your team to be playing?
“Yes, we are aiming for that. It’s very good to see that we had the composure, we built the right constructions and we made good decisions on the ball. In the right moments we fought to speed up the game and we scored a lovely goal. That’s the way we want to play. I hope we can build on that and I hope that we see that more often. But against Luton, that’s not a team that will make it easy. They will press us strongly and defend very deep and make it very compact, so we have to be very good in possession to build the right constructions and to get us into situations where we can speed up the game.”

Unfortunately Jonny Evans had to come off injured, how is he and is there any other team news you can share?
“He will not be in the squad for tomorrow, but we don’t have a full assessment so far. So we have to wait for that and then we can give a proper prognosis of how long he is out.”

Otherwise, a similar squad to the one that travelled to Denmark?

Team news for United v Luton Town


Ten Hag rules a player out of our first-ever Premier League meeting with the Hatters.

Luton earned a really hard-fought point against Liverpool last week, what does that tell you about their fighting spirit?
“It’s a good team. In the Premier League there are no easy games, and definitely not Luton. You see they have grown in the season and they have had some more good performances and results. Last week it was highly rated that performance so we have to be good, we have to play our best football to keep the three points at Old Trafford.”

Former Reds Tahith Chong and Teden Mengi play at Luton now and Chong scored against Liverpool last week. They’ll be really looking forward to coming back to Old Trafford and whenever a former player comes back you know they’re going to give everything…
“Of course they want to show that they were for so long part of this club. I think they have Manchester United in their hearts, so definitely they want to show something and they want to win here. That is always the danger when old players are returning to Old Trafford.”