Ten Hag points to an extra challenge for United

Tuesday 24 January 2023 12:57

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag believes his players will enjoy the raucous atmosphere that Nottingham Forest supporters will generate at The City Ground.

The Reds have not played at the venue since an 8-1 Premier League win in February 1999, when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer stepped off the bench to score four goals. Notably, this will be United’s 50th match against Forest at The City Ground.

It’s fair to say the two-time European Cup winners have been rejuvenated as a club in recent years and their promotion to the top-flight has brought them back into the big time. 

While their Premier League status possibly still remains in the balance this season, an appearance in the Carabao Cup semi-final has refreshed the feelgood factor around The City Ground and Ten Hag expects a noisy occasion on Wednesday night.

“Well, it's a long time ago that United played there,” said the manager in his pre-match press conference. “We like that, to play in front of a fanatical audience, it's nice to play. It will be a good atmosphere, I think it will motivate their players and we have to get ready for that.”
Nottingham Forest 1 United 8 Video

Nottingham Forest 1 United 8

6 February 1999: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hits four goals after coming off the bench to give United a landslide victory...

Typically, Erik is focused on our own performance and the first leg in isolation, rather than thinking ahead to a possible appearance in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley Stadium. 

“It's about that, it's about winning trophies,” Ten Hag admitted. “We have a good opportunity but we have to go from game to game. So now we play Forest, two legs, so focus on the first leg and don't think further ahead because that will distract. So the aim for tomorrow is to win that game.”

When pressed further on the impact of winning trophies and the many pieces of silverware he lifted while in the Netherlands, the boss admitted it’s time that our club is successful again.

“It was the best feeling what you can have, winning a trophy,” he told reporters. “I had the luck in my career to win some trophies and it was magnificent, especially for the fans. It's so great. 

“The fans here, they have some experience, especially the older fans. And now it's a period when Manchester United didn't win any trophies and it's too long ago, so we are aware of that fact. We have to do everything to bring a trophy in.”

Watch MUTV's live build-up to the match from 18:55 GMT on Wednesday.

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