Ten Hag: We're still in it to win it

Thursday 03 November 2022 21:36

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is accepting the need to play two extra games in a hard season but admits it was disappointing that his side fell marginally short of finishing first in Europa League Group E.

Had the Reds found another goal at the Reale Arena in San Sebastian and beaten our hosts Real Sociedad 2-0 rather than 1-0, then the knockout playoff round - the draw for which will take place on Monday - would have been bypassed.

The solitary goal was scored by Alejandro Garnacho in only his second senior start for the club and Ten Hag was pleased with the young Argentinian's all-round game.

The Dutchman was also delighted by the way his compatriot Donny van de Beek acquitted himself after being named in United's XI for the first time since December 2021.
Ten Hag's verdict on the win in Spain Video

Ten Hag's verdict on the win in Spain

Erik ten Hag provides his verdict on the performance, result, Garnacho and the Europa League play-offs...

Here are the main comments from Ten Hag's post-match interviews with BT Sport and MUTV, the latter of which you can watch above.


"You do not always get what you deserve. I think tonight that is the fact. I think we played a good route in the group, we win five times, only one defeat and the defeat is by a penalty where you can have discussions. Of course we wanted to win today with two goals' difference, to be number one. That was the aim, we didn't succeed but after the winter, we are still there to win the Europa League and that is always but we have to go from round to round. We have to focus on that next round and that is what we will do."


"We have to wait for the draw. We have two extra fixtures and it's a hard season but we have a squad, we have to deal with that and we will do."

"Let's look at the positives from tonight. We have an extra player with Garnacho. He did well and I hope he can keep going in this process. He was reliable defending, he worked hard, he was a threat and he scored a goal so I am happy. If he can keep this process going, I'm really happy."


"It was also a decent performance from Donny van de Beek because we need the options in the front line. We have, with Antony, Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho, three good players who can have an impact that are not available. So then others have to do it and show that we have a squad."
Ten Hag was impressed by Garnacho's all-round game, not just his winning goal.

"We had one big chance [in the second half], offside [perhaps] but it was a big chance. You hope for more box situations of course and then go for the second goal. But I think in the first half already we had the opportunity to score the second goal."


"To bring extra offensive players in. But I think in that moment we were too erratic, we weren't as good on the ball any more and we brought less balls into the box. In the last 10 minutes, we got the ball in the box again and created a good chance. That was the idea. We had to take risks, that's what we did. And we kept a clean sheet very well."


"As far as I now see, everyone is fine. We have to recover and the focus has to be on Sunday because it's another big game."