Every word from Erik's press conference

Tuesday 07 November 2023 21:20

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag and midfielder Christian Eriksen briefed the media at the Parken Stadium on Tuesday, ahead of Wednesday's Champions League group-stage match against FC Copenhagen.

The Reds defeated the Danish giants 1-0 at Old Trafford in our last fixture at Old Trafford and are looking to record our second Champions League victory of the campaign in their backyard this week.

Ahead of the match, Ten Hag and Eriksen spoke to journalists in their press conference, with Erik being asked about Marcus Rashford, Rasmus Hojlund and the Parken Stadium atmosphere, among other topics.

Read every response the United boss gave in the media briefing below...

Press conference: FC Copenhagen v United Video

Press conference: FC Copenhagen v United

Press conference | Watch Erik ten Hag and Christian Eriksen's Champions League media briefing in full...

Erik, Marcus Rashford trained today. How ready is he to start again, And also Maguire, did you have to follow any protocols for concussion to make sure he is ready?
"So we did all the protocols during the game, after the game. So he is ready to play,. Not any indication."
And Marcus, how ready is he?
"100 per cent"

How much of a boost is that to have those players, after Marcus missed the game and Harry suffered that injury as well?
"He was fine in the game. No problems. He played a very good game. Rashy missed one game out, but it was a small knock and he is back."
The Parken Stadium is renowned for having a good atmosphere. This team have been in hostile crowds and had bad results. Do you think they are well prepared now to deal with such an atmosphere?
"We are looking forward and this team is experienced and has experienced hostile [atmospheres]. For instance, last year, [in] Barcelona. We can get good performances and we can get good results, we know that."

When Antony was substituted the other day, some United fans cheered. Why is he struggling and not scored or assisted this season?
"Last week I make that remark on him, so he was out for a couple of weeks and that broke the rhythm. I think he had a very good pre-season when he scored I think twice in the pre-season. Then he had a break and now he has to get himself back in form. It is hard work and it will come."

Against Fulham you said you want to press. Can you further explain what levels you are looking for in your press?
"I think it is pretty clear what you expect. You need good formation, good constructions and then composed on the ball, find the solution on the ball. There are moments you go more direct and it depends on which solution is the best and the players have to make the right decisions. I have to tell them which positions to go into but finally, it is up to the players also to find solutions because an opponent can do different things and they have to find different positions. And then they have to make decisions on the ball and it is between the player on the ball who has to receive and play the ball. The decision making on the ball, the movement off the ball."

Eriksen relishing Parken return


The Denmark international is looking forward to representing United at his national team's home stadium.

At Fulham, there was a banner saying 'play like you mean it'. What did you think about that?
"I think the players make their efforts but there can always be more. We expect the highest standards at Manchester United. When you are a player, when you are staff, when you are manager at Manchester United the fans expect the highest standards and expect that you win every game. We from ourselves have very high expectations but also when you are not playing well in your performance, you still have to win."

What do you make of Rasmus Hojlund?
"I think he integrates very good. He has scored already three goals in the Champions League, which is very good for an integration period. I think as a team we can be better in possession so we can create more and better chances and that will also give our offensive players more opportunities to score goals. What we have to work on is a stable starting XI or at least 12 or 13 players and then the routines will be better and we will create better chances but I think, as I said, social-wise he integrated very good in team and in the club and from a football perspective he has already scored three goals in the Champions League which is very good performance and from here-on he has to take it on and improve. That is the character from Rasmus. He wants to improve every day so it is lovely to work with him, with such characters."

Erik, you have had a lot of dramatic late winners this season, whereas last season you were scoring two or three and seeing the game out. How do you get back to that when you are dominating games and putting teams away?
"First of all, I just said, by getting more of a starting XI or 12 or 13 players, you can rotate so you get more routines in the team. In this season so far, we had left full-back and right forward position we had to change a lot and then you swap the team and don't get the routines in. Also the midfield balance is not there. But I am sure, once we get there, we will play better. We will improve our game. The performance will be better. I am happy with the points we have so far because we don't even play well but we are in a position where we are not too far away. We can compete for everything. I am happy with that but we want to play better. That is absolutely our target."

Reds name travelling squad


Erik ten Hag is taking a 23-man group to Denmark for the FC Copenhagen tie.

Are you confident once you do have a stable team, of going on a winning run?
"Of course. Once you get more stable in the team you have a better chance to go on a run and you win some games after one another. It puts you in a better position because it gives you more belief and confidence. You have to make that luck as a team but it starts with better organisation in and out of possession and also with the attitude on the pitch. I think that last point is absolutely what we are now. We have a fight and spirit that even when we are not playing our best games, we are still creating chances. When we get ourselves in the the position to net more opportunities we will get more confidence in the team and then I think we are able to get in such a run."

Rasmus Hojlund seems to have a strong mentality but does he understand the challenge of coming into this team?
"He understands but of course, we speak with him about this because he is still a young player. He is smart. He understands the situation he is in and he is aware of it and he wants to score goals. When he is not, he is so keen to score in the next game. He is working very hard in training to get his progress in."

You have said that the injury issues are lifting. Do you timescales of players like Shaw, Malacia, Casemiro and Martinez, when they will be back. Do you have a time scale?
"I have some time schedules yeah, but it is always difficult to [predict] that because they can have setbacks during the rehab period so I am always holding back on such issues. But yeah, I expect some back, but for instance Casemiro and Martinez, [ones] that are really strong injuries, I don't expect them back before Christmas."
Casemiro was several weeks, so is it looking worse than that?
"No it is several weeks."
Copenhagen surprised a lot of, I guess ignorant football fans with their performance at Old Trafford so what are you expecting from them?
"They played a very decent game and I thought we didn't play a good game. But still we won. I think it was a deserved win and we have to do things better. We are aware of that because you have to lift the performance if you want to get a result."

Marcus Rashford has posted this week on social media and seems to be very unhappy about some rumours he read. Do you see in training someone very determined to get back to that form of last season?
"Marcus is very committed to Manchester United, to this team, and he is investing real hard work in training to get back to his form."


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