Every word from Erik's Q&A: Wolves (H)

Monday 14 August 2023 07:00

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is excited for the return of Premier League football at Old Trafford and wants to continue seeing his team playing with a spirit and vibe which transfers into an ambience from the stands.

After a weekend of Premier League football, it's the Reds' turn to get our campaign under way this evening, with Wolves the visitors to the Theatre of Dreams (20:00 BST).

Ahead of the fixture, Erik has set out his stall with what he expects from his side, and invited our supporters to build on the tremendous backing throughout his first term at the helm in 2022/23.

Scroll down to see those notions from the boss, along with every other word from his exclusive pre-match chat with MUTV's Mark Sullivan...

A shirt for any occasion - United's 2023/24 third kit is available to buy now!

Matchday Q&A | Ten Hag on Wolves (H) Video

Matchday Q&A | Ten Hag on Wolves (H)

Matchday Q&A | Get set for United's Premier League opener by watching our exclusive sit-down interview with Erik...

Erik, great to see you. How are you feeling ahead of the start of the new Premier League season?
“I'm excited, of course. There's always a lot of preparation for the manager, it starts really in an early moment. But for the players, six weeks, five weeks and then you want to have a proper game, a real game, and the team is ready for it.”

It was a busy pre-season schedule, which has helped sharpen your fitness. How prepared are you for the new campaign?
“We are in a very good level. We know that, when we see all the data, we are so much further than last season. So, we are in a good place for fitness levels.”

Your first season as our manager was excellent: a trophy, Champions League qualification, you made Old Trafford a fortress again. So, what do you think are the main areas to improve for this campaign?
“First of all, to keep that foundation. And it's not normal that you have a season like last season, [when your home stadium is] like a fortress. We remember all the fights we were in, and we have to go again and to put 100 per cent effort in, in every game, but also in every training session to be ready for the fight. But we are looking forward to the fight. We are so, so excited for the fight. So that's good.”

You begin with a home match. How happy are you to do so?
“Yeah, it's always a pleasure to enter Old Trafford and that is great. But it doesn't matter if you play home or away. We have to win.”

And your thoughts on the opponents on Monday night, Wolves?

“As [are] all the opponents in the Premier League, [they are] very tough. They also had a very good pre-season as we had. So, we have to be [on the] front foot, we have to be ready, and we have to go 100 per cent in our levels to beat them.”

Do you think changing their manager just a few days ahead of the new season will affect them at all?
“You don't know. It's like the dark room we are now in. You can't tell but what it's about is us. I'm never interested in [it]. Yeah, I respect every opponent. And, of course, we know everything from our opponent. But finally, it's there, it’s about us and how we play against this opponent.”

'Mount and Onana are in a good place'


The boss explains how United's first two summer additions are settling since joining the club last month.

Does it matter having to wait until Monday night to get going?
“No. Also, I think it's good, but also that you have to take it as it comes, and it will never be perfect. If you play the Friday, you want to have more days [to prepare], and when you have Monday and you want [to play] now. We are excited. We want to go now, you have to take the programme as it comes.”

Absolutely. And on Monday, if selected, we'll get to see Mount and Onana in competitive action for the first time. How have they settled in? How impressed have you been?
“I think they are in a good place. And it's definitely an advantage when Mason was in from the start, first session he was there. Andre came in, we were just in the USA, came into the team and then in the tour. So, you are so intense, you live together and then you know each other very quick. So that's a big advantage. They are there. And we are also pleased that Rasmus Hojlund, of course, came to us. [He] joined in, [he] can now learn his team-mates, the staff around and yeah, I think we are in a good place. We had a good foundation from last season and now we have to build on.”

And finally, what's your message to our fans ahead of the new season?
“I hope the same as last season, but even stronger because we want always more. We had a really good vibe between fans and the team, and we want to keep that but even better because we want more. We want to give the fans enjoyable football. We want, of course first, a winning team with the right attitude, with a good vibe and spirit in the team. And then we hope again that we get that vibe into the stands, so that we build a great ambience at Old Trafford and all the away games.”

A shirt for any occasion - United's 2023/24 third kit is available to buy now!