United v Omonia: Ten Hag's press conference

Wednesday 12 October 2022 14:30

Erik ten Hag briefed the media on Wednesday afternoon ahead of Manchester United's Europa League match against Omonia Nicosia, which takes place at Old Trafford on Thursday evening.

The Reds are looking to do the double over the visitors after coming from behind to beat Neil Lennon's side 3-2 last week and claim three points in Group E.

Having followed that away win with another victory on the road on Sunday, defeating Everton 2-1 at Goodison Park, United hope to record three triumphs on the spin this Thursday.

Ahead of the midweek fixture, Erik was joined by Victor Lindelof, and fielded questions on Anthony Martial, Christian Eriksen, Cristiano Ronaldo and more...

You can read every single word of the Dutchman's press conference below...

Ten Hag & Lindelof: Omonia press conference Video

Ten Hag & Lindelof: Omonia press conference

Press conference | See how Erik ten Hag and Victor Lindelof tackled questions from the media on Wednesday afternoon...

Do you have an update on Anthony Martial?
“Not today, we will see how it develops to Sunday.”

Will there be any players unavailable for Omonia?
“Harry [Maguire] is out, yeah.”

Anyone else out?
“The longer term ones. Donny van de Beek, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, they are not in the squad.”

Diogo Dalot has been very good under you, but you don’t seem to have anyone behind him. How are you going to manage his minutes?
“Victor [Lindelof] can play there, Tyrell Malacia can play there. We have options to get players in. We have options there.”

It's obviously a strange season because of the World Cup. If you finish second in this group you will have extra games to play. How important would it be to win the group?
"I told the players weeks ago, before the break that it is important to get number one in this group, so that will be our aim. But as you know, our aim is to win all the games. We want to avoid that, but if that is the way, then you have to win them all."

Do you feel confident that you have good squad depth to deal with the amount of fixtures?
"I think all the clubs have the same problem, the clubs that play Europe, but we have the squad. I think in all the positions we have double. Injuries will be there, suspensions will be there and then you to deal with it as a squad."
My Old Trafford | Victor Lindelof Video

My Old Trafford | Victor Lindelof

My Old Trafford | Fresh from his 200th United game, Victor Lindelof explores his affection for the Theatre of Dreams...

How do you approach this one? Do you give fringe players gametime or is it all out for the victory? 
"All out for the victory. First game is always the most important. It's Europe, it's tough, we want to be number one in the group so we have to win that game."

Erik, it's clear how important Christian Eriksen is to your team. Does there come a point where you have to consider his playing time? 
"All the players we have to manage their gametime and that is what I do all the time. That is why we have double positioning, with depth in all the positions, so if we have to rotate. So if we have injuries, if someone loses their best shape, then we replace players. So we have different options and that’s good.”

How to follow United v Omonia

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The Reds are looking to make it three Europa League wins in succession when the Cypriots come to M16.

Marcus Rashford looked like he took a knock at the end of Everton. Will he play against Omonia?
"He will be training today."

Have you spoke to Martial at all? It must be frustrating, these injuries for him…
"I have several talks with him about that. It's disappointing for him. I think for the quality, in all the minutes he played he did very well, even on Sunday. He played well. Good assist for Antony for the first goal and also in the pressing he was very good and I think he was an important factor in we play that well in the first half. But obviously he fell out and that’s a disappointment for him and the team as well."

Is it frustrating for you, after you planned around him? 
"Of course, I want every player to be available and sometimes I’m disappointed when players are not available because I know we need them. Especially with all the games coming now. But I know when our players are not available you have to deal with the situation. It's about the players that are available and that’s what I’m [concentrating on]."

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The striker posted on social media after hitting yet another career landmark, on Sunday against Everton.

Rio Ferdinand said recently that Ronaldo would be feeling disrepected. How do you respond to this?
"I want to support him as good as possible. We have a certain demand of him and what we expect of him in certain positions on the pitch. But that is, I want to get the best out of him. Obviously, he is getting in better shape now and I am happy with that, so he can contribute more to the squad. I’m sure he will do."

So has it been a physical thing for him, in terms of him having to meet your conditioning demands? 
"In the start that was definitely the case, and it has proven again that no one can miss a pre-season, because you are [playing catch-up].”

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