Every word from Erik's press conference

Wednesday 14 September 2022 19:30

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag spoke to the media on Wednesday evening, ahead of the Reds' first away fixture in the 2022/23 Europa League - against Sheriff Tiraspol, at the Zimbru Stadium in Chisinau.

Our Moldovan hosts started their Europa League campaign in Group E with an impressive 3-0 away win last week against Cypriot side Omonia, whereas United were narrowly defeated 1-0 at Old Trafford by Real Sociedad.

Following that loss, Ten Hag will be looking for a reaction from his side to achieve our first European win, and the boss's first in charge of the Reds, against Sheriff.

Ahead of Thursday's 17:45 BST kick-off, read every word of Erik's media briefing below...

Watch Ten Hag and De Gea's press conference Video

Watch Ten Hag and De Gea's press conference

Press conference | See what Erik and David told the media in Moldova, on the eve of our meeting with Sheriff Tiraspol...

Hi Erik, I understand Marcus Rashford isn't here. Could we ask you why that is, what the injury is?
"He is not available. [It is] still the consequence after Arsenal."

So what is the injury?
"He has a muscle injury."
This would maybe rule him out being called up for England. Would you still have faith in him being in this England squad for the World Cup? Do you think he still has the talent to be in that squad?
"It's quite obvious, quite clear. Yes, he played really good seasons and I think in this season he had great comeback and he showed his great potential and quality."

Moldovan fans are asking if Cristiano Ronaldo will be playing tomorrow in the starting XI or if he will be a substitute and come on the pitch. Will he play or not? This is the main question for Moldovan fans...
"I'm sorry but the Moldovan fans have to wait until tomorrow."
Can I just clarify how long you think Marcus will be out for?
"No. I don't think too long but I cannot tell how long."

He just started scoring, playing well under you. How's he taken the news that he's injured again?
"No, he's not injured again. I don't want to say [how long]. It's not really bad and we expect him back quite soon in the team."

United squad announced for Sheriff away


Erik ten Hag has taken 22 players on his first European away trip as United manager.

Erik, what do you think of Sheriff? A team that started very well in the group stage and a team that has this tough mentality after they beat Real Madrid last year.
"It's quite clear. They beat Real Madrid, they beat Shaktar Donetsk last year, so they are capable of doing it and we have to make it our game. We are conscious of that fact so we have to be ready and prepared for that game because it is serious and it is a decent opponent and we have to play our best to get the win."

After losing the first game against Real Sociedad, does that put you under more pressure for the game tomorrow?
"Pressure is for every game. For us it is the same because we have to win every game. It's clear, when you lose the first game you have to win the second, so we know what our task is."

How are Sheriff doing ahead of Thursday's match?


We take a look at our Europa League opponents' form before our trip to Moldova.

Having lost that first game, and having no game on Sunday, does that change your thoughts in terms of team selection?
"We always play a strong team so also tomorrow we will play a strong team."

Is it better to play four games close together when you are winning than to play one game in a week when you could have some problems?
"I don't think that is the cause of the four wins, and also of the two defeats. It doesn't matter. So I think our players are used to playing every Thursday a game, but it's not that case. We used the last days for good training sessions and I think that was very helpful, and I think we are well prepared for the game tomorrow."

Will the players go to give autographs to the fans after the game?
"We will think about it but also after the game, we have to go straight to the airport and return to Manchester because the players have international duties. They have to be prepared for that."