Erik ten Hag on the sidelines

Ten Hag: We could have made our lives easier

Sunday 18 February 2024 19:44

Erik ten Hag believes Manchester United could have made our lives a lot easier by being more clinical during Sunday's 2-1 win at Luton Town.

Ultimately Rasmus Hojlund's double, scored after seven minutes, was enough to secure all three points, but the hosts ran us close after Carlton Morris's 14th-minute header and there were plenty of scary moments.

The Dutchman told various broadcasters after the game that, in future, he wants to see United put games to bed earlier.

Ten Hag was also asked about replacing Casemiro and Harry Maguire at half-time, the latest on the injured Luke Shaw and the form of Hojlund.

Read the best quotes below...


“At the end of the day it's about the points, but we could have made our life easier by scoring more goals. And after 10 minutes already, we could have gone up with four goals. We didn't do that and then we let them get back in the game by dropping too deep and [becoming] too passive. And we allow them chances. Not really chances, but shots and crosses and we concede the [goal for] 2-1 and the second half I think similar. But then even the chances were so big and so massive we should have scored [the goal for] 3-1. And as I say, then it's an easy ride.”

Ten Hag: It's about the points Video

Ten Hag: It's about the points

Erik ten Hag is satisfied to be travelling home with the victory, but he insists United should have scored more...


“We are in a good run, but we are not there where we want to be, because we have to control the game. It’s 90 minutes long and I think we lose some focus after we went up 2-0, we missed two great chances from Garnacho and Rashford, and then we drop too deep and we allow them some crosses and some shots.”


“We always believe he's a fantastic striker and he has great abilities. He's very young and he needed some adaptation and he was unlucky and we were unlucky by decisions made against him, for instance, the penalty he should have got against Arsenal, against Brighton he scored the goal that was cancelled and no one still knows why. When you then don't score, something with your belief is going on. But he's a strong character and that is what you see in this moment. He keeps fighting and keeps working for better performances. And now he's scoring and now he has a lot of confidence and it looks like that every ball is going in.”


“I don't think it's a booking, the first one. Again, with Casemiro, it’s very harsh to concede the first booking and I don't understand why. And then of course, in the second, that was a booking. Very clear, but I think also the referee knows what's going on with the first one. And I think the refereeing in general, it can't be all the time Casemiro, by his first tackle, they book him.”


"I saw the reaction from the referee and thought they could go off with the next one. With McTominay and Evans we have good replacements. Don't take the risk. I thought it was the right decision.”


“Kobbie was very mature and I think he’s progressing from game to game, hopefully he will keep it going. He's a very good player and today we have seen that, but it [an international call-up] is up to the team coach and to the manager of England.”

Ten Hag provides Shaw injury update


The boss explains why he was forced into a first-half change regarding our no.23.


“It’s not a knock. I can’t tell. We have to wait minimum until tomorrow to see what’s going on. It’s clear, when you come off it doesn’t look great.”


“Yeah, we are back in the race. Still, we have to catch up. We are happy with scoring goals now. Also today we missed some great opportunities and I think the frontline can be more clinical. They have the abilities, but what is positive is the way we created the chances.

“Every game is a final and it's a long road and it's not be decided in February. So in this moment of the year, make sure that in April, you are in a position you can win. And so still we have to catch up, but we are back in the race.”