Ten Hag provides team news for Thursday

Wednesday 07 September 2022 12:05

Erik ten Hag has provided an insight into his plans for Manchester United's Europa League opener with Real Sociedad.

The Reds begin our Group E schedule with a home game against the San Sebastian side, looking to make a positive start in the competition and build on a four-game winning run in the Premier League.

There is the prospect that Ten Hag will rotate his squad, with so many players keen for an opportunity to impress, but La Real, who drew with Atletico Madrid at the weekend in La Liga, are likely to provide a stiff test. 

When asked about the latest on Anthony Martial at his press conference, the boss told reporters: "Yes, he is still out. He is progressing but he is not ready to get back into team training or in a game."

The striker was injured after coming off the bench to help the Reds beat Liverpool and has been sidelined since but will hopefully return before the international break.

Ten Hag confirmed Cristiano Ronaldo is an obvious option to start in attack, pointing out he had been in the XI for the game at Brentford, and was asked whether he plans to rotate on Thursday night.

"We have to win every game," he stated. "And we want to win every tournament so we have to take everything serious. We not only have a team, we have a squad, that's clear. But we have to win every game. That is the mentality that Manchester United needs.

"Maybe I cannot keep them [the players] all happy every game but everyone gets their game-time if they perform well, it's quite clear. But what I say, we need everyone - we have a lot of games to cover. There is a lot coming in front of us, and the national teams of course - the World Cup - but also all of the cups in England. The Europa League, where we are now getting in, and, of course, the Premier League."


There were no fresh absentees in training this week, although centre-back Robin Le Normand does look set to be ruled out.

Aritz Elustondo and Jon Pacheco are candidates to play in defence, and coach Imanol Alguacil could opt for a five-man backline.

Carlos Fernandez, Mikel Oyarzabal and former Bournemouth left-back Diego Rico are all absent.