Erik's post-Luton press conference in full
Manchester United overcame Luton Town 1-0 on Saturday to make it four Premier League wins from five.
Victor Lindelof scored the only goal of the game in the second half at Old Trafford to ensure the Reds go into the November international break in good spirits.
Erik ten Hag spoke to the media afterwards and was asked about the match, his one-game touchline ban, the enforced substitutions of Rasmus Hojlund and Christian Eriksen, and more.
Here’s the full transcript of the manager’s post-match press conference…
Erik, congratulations. It wasn’t the prettiest at times but an important win heading into the international break…
"Yes and we could have made life more easy by scoring more goals. We created many chances – first half I observed four 100% chances. If you get the first and you get the second, it becomes more easy, but if you don’t score you know you can always drop a ball in the box in the wrong position and you are in trouble. We had to fight to the end and it was maybe not the prettiest but if you oversee, I am happy we created many chances.
Is that a confidence thing?
"I don’t think it’s particularly a confidence thing because Rasmus Hojlund has scored five in the Champions League so he came full of confidence into this game. It will come. Rashford scored 30 last season and is now not scoring but there will come a day when he starts scoring again. And I think also the other offensive players like Garnacho are capable of scoring goals. It will come but what is good is we already have 13 different goalscorers in our team. It expresses the way we want to play football: everyone is attacking, everyone is defending and so defenders can also score goals."
Rasmus went off. He had treatment and then he went down with no-one near him. What’s the problem?
"In this moment, I can’t tell anything about it because I don’t know. We do an assessment and we have to wait 24 hours for the conclusion. So we’ll give the medical team 24 hours to see what the problem is, if there is a problem."
As a manager, when you have so many injuries and you see someone as important as that go down, do you think ‘oh no…’?
"You don’t want to miss any player. There’s also Christian Eriksen. That is our season at this moment – we have so many injuries. But therefore you have a squad. We have talked about it many times. But of course the routine levels are dropping down, the routine levels in the team, in the way of playing, but hopefully players are coming back and those new injuries are not too bad."
We think you got a one-match touchline ban with that booking at the end making it three [this season]. Is that correct?
"Yeah, I think so."
You’ve got 21 points after all these injury problems. Is that cause for optimism?
"Absolutely. Even after all the setbacks we have to deal with, we are still in a position near the top four and when we start to play well, when the team is set for a couple of weeks and months. Other teams will get their setbacks and drop points. Now we won our last four from give in PL and We are in quite a good position. If you oversee the trouble we have had, we’re in a very good position and that’s a reason to be optimistic, looking forward in the future. A step up in performances and this, creating a lot of chances, makes me hopeful and then we will move forward, get better performances and get even more points."
Early in the second half you had the defensive line pushed up, you had players in the box – even Maguire was staying around Luton’s box. Did you tell them something at half-time, to keep taking risks and keep pushing?
"For me, it’s not taking a risk, it’s to bring players high up the pitch because if you bring players higher up the pitch, your opportunity to score goals is higher. Also, in the first half we created four 100% chances, with Garnacho twice, Rashford and Hojlund. So one has to net."
On Eriksen, is it a twisted knee and do you have any idea how long he might be out?
"He slipped but it’s the same – we have to do the assessment, set the diagnosis, set the conclusion and then we’ll know where we are."
Can you explain why you were booked as we weren’t sure?
"It was about a moment so clear. A throw-in but it was the second time. I was on top of it and it was so clear and obvious it was our ball – that was my remark and therefore I got booked."
Will you be fining yourself? You’d fine the players for backchat…
"When the players get a red card, they’ll probably be fined but for a booking, a yellow, they don’t get fined."
Does it not apply to the manager?
"To a certain point, of course you have to accept decisions and I should do as well."
How much will it impact things at Everton?
"We have a very competent coaching staff and they will take over. Of course to a certain point I can be involved but I can say my coaching staff is very competent."