Every word from Erik’s pre-Brentford press conference

Friday 12 August 2022 13:34

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has spoken to the media ahead of his first away Premier League match in charge of the Reds.

United travel to Brentford's Gtech Community Stadium for a 17:30 BST kick-off on Saturday evening looking to register a first competitive victory of Ten Hag’s tenure. 

The boss was asked what the lessons were from our opening-weekend defeat to Brighton last time out, along with questions on his starting XI, our opponents Brentford, transfer speculation and more during his pre-match press conference at Carrington. 

You can see every word from Friday afternoon's media briefing below…

Could you just update us on the situation with Cristiano Ronaldo at the moment, obviously he played half a game, or half an hour, against Brighton, is he available to start and is there any more certainty around his future?

"So, he had a good training week, I thought he played a little bit longer than half an hour, I would say he now has two half a games. The starting XI, we will see tomorrow. I, of course, have made my decision but I [will] keep it."

Can I also ask you about Marcus Rashford, there's a lot that's been said about him and the link with Paris Saint-Germain today. Where is Marcus, where does he fit in your plans? Obviously, he missed a good chance against Brighton...
"He is really important, you have seen from the first day I'm in, I've been really pleased. Definitely, I don't want to lose him, he's in our plans and he will stay at Manchester United."
Part one | Press conference v Brentford Video

Part one | Press conference v Brentford

Press conference part one | Erik ten Hag answer questions on Ronaldo, Rashford, Eriksen and transfers...

What have you done this week on the back of the result on Sunday? Because that obviously wasn't the way you want to start a season or a time at Manchester United? What have you done to try and rectify that this week?
"What I always do after every game, I analyse the game and dwell on what went wrong and where we can improve, where we have to improve, how we have to train and of course we tell and show the players where we have to improve to give them the solutions."

Erik, what did you feel you learned from that first outing in the Premier League?
"We learned a lot but it's normal when you start a season, every season in that part is the same. The team get together, you have to get a way of playing, especially when you are new, what we are. You have a new start, you make mistakes. Football is a game of mistakes, so we know we have to improve in many factors, [that's] clear."
In terms of improving the squad further, a lot of speculation remains as to who could possibly come in. Could you bring us up to date with what's happening with [Adrien] Rabiot, with Frenkie de Jong, are they likely to still happen? How satisfied are you with the support you get in terms of recruitment at the club so far? 
"I'm happy, I think we're cooperating really well. I cannot tell [you] about any individuals because I cannot talk about players who are under contract with other clubs."

Just back to the start that you've had to the season, we know what pressure comes with being at Manchester United, but do you feel that added pressure after the first result to get up and running at Old Trafford now?
"I know there is always pressure and I have experience of how that is. I know we have to win every game and I know the fans, everyone expects that Man United is winning every game so we have to deal with that. All I can do is prepare my team as good as I can and I'm focusing on that."

Team news ahead of Brentford trip


Erik ten Hag provides the latest news on how United's squad is looking before Saturday's game.

Christian Eriksen is obviously going back to Brentford this weekend, what have you thought of what he's done so far and how will he feel going back there?
"The last question you have to ask him but it's always special when you return to the team you came from, but also he had that experience before, and he knows we have to win and he has to perform well so he has to focus on that."

How hard a game is this for you?
"Every game is hard."

What do you think about Brentford and the way they play under Thomas Frank?
"Really good. I think same as last week, Brighton, they have a team and a coach that have been long together, a good structure, they play decent football, and it will be tough, but we have to win."

Ten Hag addresses Rashford speculation


The boss discussed recent reports about Marcus's future during Friday's press conference.

And if Ronaldo is fit, does he play in an ideal world? Does he start in your team or is it a different story to that?
"I gave the answer already."

Erik, you say you are cooperating well with the board, are you on the same page as the board when it comes to individual transfer targets?

We talked about Ronaldo, is there any other updates on team news? What's the status of Anthony Martial?
"He will not be available and Victor Lindelof as well, not for this weekend."

On the squad as a whole, are you confident that when the window closes on 1 September that you will have a better squad, a more rounded squad than you have at the moment?
"We have to, and I'm convinced we will have."