Every word from Erik's press conference: Part two

Saturday 18 March 2023 22:30

Erik ten Hag fielded questions from the media in the second part of his pre-match press conference, ahead of our Emirates FA Cup clash with Fulham at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The Reds are straight back into the thick of things after safely securing our progression to the last eight of the Europa League earlier this week.

With full focus quickly switching to our tie with the Cottagers tomorrow afternoon in M16, it's business as usual as far as Erik is concerned, with his side set to play our 54th match of the season so far.

Speaking to journalists at Carrington on Friday afternoon, the boss was asked questions regarding Harry Maguire, Anthony Martial and Facundo Pellistri in the second part of his press conference, and, below, you can read everything he had to say on those players and more...

Press conference part two | United v Fulham Video

Press conference part two | United v Fulham

Press conference part two | Erik discusses our team spirit, Martial, Pellistri and more ahead of Fulham's visit...

When you came to the club there were many stories suggesting that the dressing room was split and people were unhappy within it, possibly the first two results of your tenure suggested that. But things have obviously changed and United have become United. Was there one particular thing you did or said to them that made them unify like they are now?
''No, it's a process. You have to set a culture about standards, values and rules. Then I always think partnerships can bring bad people together. One particular [thing] I cannot mention. So there are a set of standards and a set of decisions you make.''

Hi Erik, Anthony Martial I believe is back in training again. I know you were very excited to work with him when you first came to the club, but again he has suffered with a lot of injuries this season. Does it ever come to a point with a player where he has to stay fit and start producing performances on the pitch to have a long-term future at the club?
''I don't think it is the right moment. If that was to be the case, I would believe in him. Every time he is available, he really gives a good contribution to the team performance, the level of the team are upgrading the moment he is available. We are just working with him to get fit and to be available.''

I think you mentioned in the derby game where he came off, you said he wasn't injured but you felt he could get injured, that he had this feeling. Can you work with players in terms of working with them to come to terms with that mentality. We saw in the same game where Marcus [Rashford] for example played through the pain barrier and ended up scoring the winning goal?
''Every person is different, so you have to treat every person different. This process you have to take really carefully and I do everything so that I get him ready to being available.''

Harry Maguire said last night that he's still having an impact on the pitch when he plays but also off it. It's not a position for a captain not to be playing that much. Is he still showing leadership qualities in the dressing room? Do you encourage him to speak on the training ground and in the dressing room? 
"Definitely. I'm really happy with the progress that Harry is making in this moment. He's more dominant and dictating, he's taking more initiative on the training pitch and I think also yesterday in the Real Betis game, he showed leadership, especially in those aspects of initiative and dictating of the game."

Ten Hag reveals FA Cup team news


Erik discusses his plans for the home quarter-final against Fulham on Sunday afternoon.

You mentioned [Andreas] Pereira having to leave and it's very hard for young players to make it at United with their being so much competition. Do you think Pellistri has a chance of making it as he did well at the World Cup even with so much competition?
''Of course, but you have to deserve it. You have to gather it by yourself and we will help him. The way of play, the culture, we will help him. The coaches are really working hard with him but at the end of the day, the players have to grab their chances. They have to deserve their chances by performing every day, on and off the pitch. He has the abilities to do it like others coming up from the youth like [Alejandro] Garnacho, Kobbie Mainoo, Pellistri is also one of them and there are also more who can do it. You have to contribute to the team and Manchester United is not a place where we can have the patience to try one for 10 games. You have to perform.''