Every word from Erik's pre-Fulham press conference

Friday 26 May 2023 13:30

Erik ten Hag has spoken to the media ahead of our final Premier League match of the season, at home to Fulham on Sunday.

The Reds secured a top-four place on Thursday evening, with a resounding 4-1 win over Chelsea, but attention now turns to the visit of the Cottagers, who have enjoyed an impressive season themselves.

Erik conducted his pre-match press conference at Old Trafford - immediately after the Chelsea match - and was asked about a variety of topics ahead of the meeting with Marco Silva's men.

Among the questions put to the boss were enquiries about the future of David De Gea, Erik's plans for the summer transfer window, and the progress of Jadon Sancho this season.

You can read every word from Ten Hag's briefing below...

Press conference part one: United v Fulham Video

Press conference part one: United v Fulham

Press conference | Erik ten Hag is asked about De Gea, Sancho and the summer transfer window...

Against Chelsea during the time when Antony was injured, you were in discussion with Jadon Sancho for a little bit. What do you make of his performance against Chelsea and how have you seen his performance across the season?
"I was not in discussion with him, but I gave him some instructions. So, I think I take that spell, because there was an injury, to give him some instructions. I do [this] more often with players [and it] is a short time. You have to take advantage from the short time on the pitch to give the instructions to your team and then it can be some individuals, sometimes it can be also some groups. And that is what I did."

Are you particularly pleased with how Sancho has played this season, especially against Chelsea? You've played him on the right-hand side for a long period of time as well...
"He did very well on the right side, and I think he played a very good game today. And I think Jadon Sancho was one of the players who [has made good] progress in this season. And there were many players in our squad who made good progress. I think it's a good base to build further on."
Do you prefer [Sancho] on the left to the right?
"He can do both, but I think he prefers to play on the left. But we have seen today he is very good on the right as well."

So, Erik, you just previously mentioned twice about the transfer window coming up in the summer. Is it simple to say that now you know that transfer dealings can make or break... Next season really depends on that, because you had a good summer last summer. You are where you are now. If you don't have a successful transfer window, then forget about next season challenging and improving?
"Still, we can improve also with this squad and as we did this season."
90 in 20: United v Chelsea Video

90 in 20: United v Chelsea

Watch the extended highlights from our penultimate Premier League match of the season...

You did just mention it depends on how you come out the transfer window...
"I think that is one part of it. The other thing has to come out of the progress in the current squad and the current players and that is the job that I have to do to get into guarantees with that squad and with my coaching staff. I think we make huge progress during the season. The team, many individuals, play a fantastic, great season and now we have a good base. But as I just mentioned, I think there is still a lot of room for improvement also in this squad. But then when you get the right players in, that will help and that will even give you more depth and a better standard and level. And then you have more chance to be in the top four and then it gives you more chance to win titles and trophies."

Erik, David De Gea has been a very important player for this club for a long time. His contract is up in the summer. I know there's been a lot of positive noises about it, but nothing's been signed yet. Is there a chance that Sunday could be his last game at Old Trafford as a United player?
"I think we want him to stay and he wants to stay, so I think we will find each other."

What has been the hold-up?
"I never will give a comment about that, about how negotiations are going."

Impatient Erik feels Reds need more


The boss is pleased with the progress of some of his squad but believes additions are needed during the window.

Can I ask quickly about Luke Shaw? I know you said Antony is a serious injury, but it will require some assessment. What's up with Luke Shaw? Do you think he's out of Sunday's match?
"In this moment? I can't say if he is available or not for Sunday."

You've spoken a lot there about the transfer window and getting stronger for next season, but how difficult is it to plan and prepare for the window when you don't know who is going to be owning the club by the time the window closes?
"That's not my job. I have to nominate first and identify and then nominate the right players. Then it's up to the club."

Are you confident that, no matter who is owning the club, they will deliver the players that you want?
"I cannot tell in this moment. You have to ask the right people about that question."