Ten Hag: Casemiro was magnificent

Saturday 28 January 2023 23:36

Erik ten Hag admitted Casemiro has made an even bigger impact for Manchester United than he expected, especially in attack, after the Brazilian bagged a match-winning brace against Reading in the Emirates FA Cup.

Our no.18's second-half double proved decisive, given that Fred's strike to make it 3-0 was followed by Amadou Mbengue's header for Reading.

And while the summer signing from Real Madrid is not famed for his scoring prowess, it's that kind of versatility and element of surprise that Ten Hag is looking for in his team as the Reds continue to compete on four fronts.

Below you can read the manager's key quotes from his interviews with ITV and MUTV, and watch the latter.
Erik: We want them to smell top football Video

Erik: We want them to smell top football

Ten Hag says he is committed to developing young players at United, after our 3-1 win over Reading...


"The first 60 minutes was a really good performance. I think we totally dominated the game, we were composed in possession, with good moments where we accelerated. In the first half we had some good opportunities, some chances and also a goal that is a goal - I don't know why it was disallowed. Good runs behind them created a lot of opportunities, but also our transition from defence was really good. And there was only one moment before half-time where there was a lack of concentration. But before that, I think we created four, five, six really good chances where the only thing we missed was the finish. Then after half-time, very quickly it was 2-0."


"Yes. We know he's a great player and that midfield at Real Madrid, with Kroos and Modric, it was great. He's capable of that [scoring goals]. We see him as a part of it offensively and he enjoys it as well, when he can come [into] it. What I like is dynamic football with variations, with many positional switches so we have to make the opponent think so that we can take the benefit of it. Casemiro is magnificent. In front of the back line, always taking good positions, in and out of position. And he can deal with the ball, he can give the right pass. So, he can accelerate the game and if necessary, he can score."

"Yes, it is a pity, and definitely for him. With the disallowed goal, that is a disappointment, let’s say it is a frustration. He deserved that goal. We had to take him off because so many games come and we need them and want to keep them fresh. In the long term we need him."


"I think he is growing. We want him to be also more dynamic, more variable and more direct and you see today what I think was a lovely pass for the first goal. It was a good combination, a Brazilian combination, Antony and Casemiro. So we are happy with his improvement in this moment but still there is more to come and I think he is capable of it. There is a big potential in him and he has to develop it every day."

Who was our Man of the Match against Reading?


Find out which player won our fan poll after the win over the Royals.


"That was one aim. But the other aim was to bring young players on so they can smell the football. But they have to show that, they have to pick these moments. I think we can give them some good feedback. What is wrong and what is good and what we really have to work on."


"This is a fortress. But there's always the next game and the opponent will be motivated and we have to be aware of that. You have to make sure you are in the right focus and getting the right energy when you are starting the next game."

United 3 Reading 1


Read our match report on the Reds' Emirates FA Cup fourth-round tie at Old Trafford.


"It was a long time ago. It's great. Johan Cruyff had such an impact on football like Pele, Beckenbaeur and Maradona. That was my character obviously, that is who I am [to speak, as a youngster, to Cruyff]. I think I was brave and I wanted to be a good football player and I wanted to learn. When you have the moment with Johan Cruyff, you take the moment. He's a big inspiration, how you have to play football. Johan Cruyff was not only about winning games, he was obviously a great winner and he won a lot in his career, but also in a certain way, in an adventurous way, in an attacking way and also with great solutions. I think he is a big inspiration for many of them and definitely for me."


"To win titles, we are here for trophies, but we have a long way to go. We are building and we have to invest a lot and work hard."