Every word from Erik's press conference

Friday 22 September 2023 13:30

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag completed his media duties on Friday afternoon at Carrington, ahead of our Premier League clash against Burnley.

The Reds will be bidding to bounce back following consecutive defeats to Arsenal, Brighton & Hove Albion and Bayern Munich, with the Clarets next on the agenda.

Erik provided updates on our returning players, as well as reiterating how sticking together through tough periods is something which he feels can only benefit the team moving forward.

Scroll down a little further, to both read, and watch, everything the boss had to say to journalists earlier this afternoon...
Part one: Press conference v Burnley Video

Part one: Press conference v Burnley

Press conference | Ten Hag gives updates on several injured Reds ahead of United's trip to Turf Moor...

Afternoon Erik, you've obviously had a tough run of performance and results. Just how important do you think it is this match against Burnley to try and change the narrative and get some confidence?
“At United, you have to win every game, so that doesn't change anything.”

Are you concerned about the number of leaks that seem to be coming out of the dressing room at this time? There have been reports today about players being unhappy, for example, with the treatment of David De Gea, [and] the criticism you may have given them. Is that inevitable when you are trying to change the culture at the club?
“I don't know if it is a leak but I know the opinion. I know my players.”
So are you saying it is not happening?
“I know my players, everyone can make suggestions. We are okay with it.”

Are you surprised by the scale of the challenge you are facing here, at United?
“No. So this is my second year, and I know it's not always going up. You will have your gaps and you get stronger from it, as long as you stay together and that is what we are doing. I think the dressing room, staff, all the staff - so coaches, medical, bigger staff - everyone is United. At United, you fight.”

And just finally if I may Erik, one of those reports was around the influence of your agent, Kees Vos, and there has been a report here that staff are concerned about that influence. Has that concern reached you and are you aware of any concerns?
“It can't be because we make very good agreements about it from the start, how we co-operate in the matter. So for player decisions, transfers, it is always 50/50 and both are involved. The club, by John Murtough, and me. So there never can be any distraction.”
Erik, has there been any resolution to the Jadon Sancho situation? There have been reports today that he could be able to leave as early as January. What is the truth, what future does he still have at the football club?
“It depends on him. For the rest, we are preparing for Burnley, and that has all our focus. He will not be in the squad.”

And he has not been involved in group training still?

With regard then to availability this weekend, how likely are you to get players back, I am thinking Varane, Mount, Amrabat, Malacia. Maguire could be the closest to a return?
“Yeah, maybe as you say Harry Maguire. We will see better after training. But Varane will train, we will see. Amrabat, he will train, we will see. Mount, as well, but they all didn't play for short or longer term. Varane, obviously, was the shortest [time] out.”
90 in 20: Bayern v United Video

90 in 20: Bayern v United

Watch extended highlights from the Reds’ first Champions League outing of 2023/24…

Andre Onana said after the game against Bayern Munich that: 'My start in Manchester hasn't been good or how I want. The way I played today was one of my worst games.' What's your view overall on the start he has made, and when a keeper feels like that, is it better to give him more game-time to play through it or is it better to take him out of the firing line?
“It's about [the] team and, as a team, we don't have the results at the moment. So then, also, the individuals don't bring the performance you expect, and not only one player but more and including the manager.”

What are you expecting from Burnley, Erik? Newly promoted, but without a win so far...
“As always, it's about how we play against Burnley. There is never any easy games and definitely not against Burnley, we know how intense they play football, I know their approach. I must say, I like the approach from them, the adventure and the high intensity and also the dynamic in their game. So, yeah, we have to play out best.”
Erik just on the defensive record, does it start from that, trying to tighten up at the back?
“No, it's about 11 players who do their job. As I said many times, here in this place and I tell my players. We attack with 11, we defend with 11. When one or two are not doing the job, it's like a pack of cards and then it is not only one or two players.”