Erik ten Hag

Ten Hag: We've seen glimpses

Sunday 14 January 2024 19:35

Erik ten Hag was in a mixed mood following Manchester United's 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford.

The boss stated his satisfaction with the Reds' first-half performance and the goals scored by Rasmus Hojlund and Marcus Rashford, who he believes are starting to click as a partnership.

But Erik was disappointed that we couldn't close out the win, suggesting that the manner in which we defend set pieces needs to improve going forward, following Richarlison's first equaliser.

Rodrigo Bentancur scored seconds after the break to ensure the game ended level and Ten Hag was also asked about Aaron Wan-Bissaka playing at left-back and his plans for the winter break post-match.

Here’s what Ten Hag said to MUTV, Sky Sports and radio broadcasters after the final whistle…


“When you score two great goals and you concede two such soft goals, then you are a bit disappointed. I’m also pleased with the performance of the team because it was a good spirit and in stages of the game they played decent football.”

Ten Hag: The team played with spirit Video

Ten Hag: The team played with spirit

Erik ten Hag shares what he made of United's performance, and the goals at either end, in the 2-2 draw with Spurs...


“It was very good. We scored two great goals in the first half and it was encouraging to see how we broke the lines and how we were direct and how we finished as well. That’s why I’m a little bit disappointed when you have such a performance and you don’t win.”


“I’m quite happy with the defence, except for the set plays. We didn’t defend the set plays very well and we conceded a goal from it, after clearing one from the goal-line. The first is the corner, we get two warnings, I think. There was already a ball saved on the line by Diogo. You have to be aware of these situations. You have to go up more physical, head the ball away. The second was a typical one. We know the quick releases and we allow them a diagonal pass. With one diagonal pass they break our whole team and that can’t happen.”


“I think in possession we can bring more calmness and composure on the ball. Already in the first half we had one, two, three players in the midfield department who we didn’t always use. We didn’t always make the right decisions. But they give so much space away, it’s also very challenging then to pass the ball in the midfield, if the ball is on the back of the defending line when there’s so much space and we have so much speed and directness up front.”


“It wasn’t the first time, also at Wigan he played there for part of it. We expected Luke Shaw [to play]. We trained with him but this morning he dropped out, not fit enough to start. So to change then back, what we trained, what was our gameplan would have been too much so we decided to put Azza on the left and keep Diogo on the right side.”

Hojlund: We need to take the positives Video

Hojlund: We need to take the positives

Rasmus Hojlund says United played a good game and are disappointed to have conceded the lead twice to Tottenham...


“We have seen glimpses [of Rashford being back to his best]. The co-operation with Hojlund is growing. The first goal was prepared by Rashford for Hojlund. He also scored a very good goal, so I’m pleased with that. We are improving and we’ve seen a glimpse of the future with Garnacho, Mainoo, Hojlund of course. I’m very pleased players are returning, like Martinez, Casemiro and Shaw. I’m sure we’ll have a strong side.”


“There are players just returning who need training. They need hard work to get fitter and to get closer to the team. But there are others who played so many games in 2023 who need a break. They need some refreshment and energy and next week we come together and from that point on we have to go from game to game, from battle to battle, get energy and have the right attitude, as today, and see where we end.”