Every word from Erik's Sevilla press conference

Wednesday 19 April 2023 20:10

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag fielded questions from the media at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium, on the eve of our Europa League quarter-final second leg against Sevilla.

With the score currently level following our 2-2 draw at Old Trafford last Thursday, the Reds will hope to find an extra gear and progress to the semi-final stage against the six-time competition winners in Andalusia.

Photos emerged of Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia and Marcel Sabitzer in training ahead of the team's flight to Spain earlier today and Ten Hag was quizzed on our quartet's fitness.

Erik was also asked about David De Gea, Sevilla's attacking threat and Manchester City too, with every word from the boss now available for you to delve into down below...

Watch Ten Hag and Eriksen’s press conference Video

Watch Ten Hag and Eriksen’s press conference

Press conference | Erik ten Hag and Christian Eriksen preview our Europa League quarter-final second leg v Sevilla…

Just on the [recently absent] players that you have travelling with you - Shaw, Sabitzer, Malacia and Rashford. Are they all available to be involved and can they start the game?
''They are available because that's why they are on the aeroplane. But I will make my decisions tomorrow as today we were training and I will see what the reaction is. Tomorrow we will make the decision.''

Is Luke Shaw one you will have to make in particular a decision on? Given the issues you had in defence on Sunday?
''We will have this for all [players]. In-particular decisions.''

Erik, with Rashford, where you surprised at the speed he has recovered and will he be available to start the game?
''As I said, you want to keep all players fit, so there is always an objective besides the main objective which is of course to win the game.''

On Rashford, how many training sessions has he had before today?
''He had one session with the team, but he had some sessions before individually.''

About Christian, you said at the weekend how much of a natural he is. In a game like this where there is so much riding on it and it is a knockout tie, is he even more important in this setting with a player like that who can keep the ball?
''His abilities are reading the game, finding the positions, coaching, composure on the ball, final pass. Definitely, he is very important for us as he is experienced in Europe, in the Premier League and playing in big games. Tomorrow [he] is that item.''

Have you maybe put unnecessary pressure on yourselves because of the second half in the first leg?
''It is clear how the game went, it is a tie about two legs and I think we played for over 60 minutes quite well. Then the last 30 minutes we dropped a level and we became passive. It is not acceptable and we know that, you see what happened when you are playing a game for only 60 minutes. You cannot do it and when you do, you get punished. You have to be aware of it and I think the lessons we spoke about, we saw it on Sunday, then you have seen a different Manchester United. Tomorrow we have to go again.''

Ten Hag's team news for Sevilla second leg


Erik has been asked if Malacia, Rashford, Sabitzer and Shaw are likely to be involved in Spain.

I know you talk about focussing on your own game but does it give you any added incentive that a good end to this season will also stop Manchester United's local rivals Manchester City equalling our record of completing the Treble? Has it been talked about in the club about how important that is to the fanbase, that if we have a chance, we can stop them as well?
''We think about our games and winning our games, we are not thinking or dealing with that. We have to improve our game and win our game and our next game. We don't get distracted by issues like that, we have to win our game and with every game we want to become better. We want to compete with the best but therefore we have to progress and we know we have to progress even more.''

Erik, we have seen some reports of David [De Gea] potentially getting a new deal to stay on. What do you think his best attributes are as a keeper and what do you think are the most important attributes to have?
''Stopping goals, avoiding goals as that is the main job for a goalkeeper. You can do it in many more ways, everyone has their own particular style and nowadays in possession, it becomes more and more important, especially at the top level because there you take control and it is more difficult for the opponent to gain pressure, you also concede less chances. But at the end of the day it's about stopping goals, stopping shots, stopping crosses, one-on-ones etc so that is more like the classic goalkeeper. I think David is really multi-functional and a really compete goalkeeper. We are very happy with him.''

You mentioned after the Sevilla game last week that you felt like a couple of your players got into individual battles with their players and it had helped to warm them up and that's how they managed to finish the game so strongly. Given you're going to play in such a hostile atmosphere tomorrow, is that a conversation you have had with the players about how they need to manage the crowd and those little moments to avoid warming them up again?
''I said this is also in the development of our team. We have to use emotion as a tool, but you have to control it as well. You have to put it in the right moments and that is important. That is in big games especially, you have to know when to use it and also when not to. It is a general point and last week we did well, so we must focus on the game and focus on playing the best game you can, as a team and as an individual.''

What do you fear the most about Sevilla as an opposing team coming here? Your team is really good defensively but do you have problems when you are attacking? What are you trying to improve for tomorrow?
''I think defensively we are good, we have the most clean sheets in the Premier League so our organisation all over the pitch is quite good. Attacking, yeah we should have scored more goals during the whole season but I am confident as, especially in the last few games, now we have all the players on board, we score in every game. So I am confident we can do that tomorrow as well.''