Every word: Part one of Erik’s pre-Leeds press conference

Tuesday 07 February 2023 13:30

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has spoken to the media ahead of the first of the Reds’ two meetings with Leeds United this week.

Part one of a Premier League double-header with our Yorkshire rivals takes place at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening (20:00 GMT kick-off). 

Ahead of that contest, Erik held his pre-match press conference at Carrington earlier this afternoon, and in the first part, he fielded questions on Jesse Marsch’s recent departure from Elland Road, our home form, Casemiro’s suspension, team news and more. 

Prior to the second section of the press conference being released at 22:30 GMT this evening, you can see every word from the first section below, starting with an introduction from Erik, after he had a delay in attending his media briefing…
Part one: Ten Hag's Leeds press conference Video

Part one: Ten Hag's Leeds press conference

Press conference part one | Erik discusses why he was late, our team news and a decision on Casemiro's red card...

"First, I want to apologise I'm late, but I had to do a procedure for the visa and there was a technical problem so that's why."

"Is not a fine! I could do nothing about it!"

Have you got your visa? Because that could be a problem?
"That's why, it was important."

So that's a story then...
"No, it was a technical problem, you want to make a story out of it! It isn't, so I think everything will be done."
Manchester United against Leeds is a famous rivalry, I wonder what you know about it and how much you're looking forward to it twice this week?
"It's about the match of the Roses. It's definitely a big game in this part of England and it's a big game for us. We know we have Man City, we have Liverpool, but as well for our fans, this game means so much. Our players are aware of that, and they know what to do."

Jesse Marsch left his job at Leeds yesterday, what's your reaction to that and how does it affect your preparation for these games?
"It's always sad if a manager is a colleague and gets sacked, in general I don't believe in it that if you sack a manager, you get better results. Most of the time, it doesn't work. Let managers do their work, finish their work and then make a good evaluation. Obviously, the pressure is high with the decision makers in football clubs, and they turn. But if you see the facts, you see the stats, most of the time it doesn't work out well."

How does it change your preparation for the game considering it's a different management team? They might have different ideas of how to play, you might face a completely different management team for the following game as well...
"Definitely and you don't know. We have to be aware of that. When Jesse was at Leeds, it was clear how they play, their way of play, system, style. Now, it's possible they change but it's also possible they don't change. We will find out on the pitch tomorrow and then we need good anticipation on that if they change, and if not, we know what to do. Bad anticipation for instance against Villa, the difference for them when Emery came in is they had a week to prepare and now they [Leeds] don't have so much time to prepare. We will see but we need god anticipation and to be proactive."

Don't miss Ten Hag's team news update


In his press conference, the manager confirmed two forwards will miss the match against Leeds, plus Casemiro.

Can I ask you what the injury situation is with [Anthony] Martial, and [Scott] McTominay in particular, given Casemiro is suspended...
"They are not involved tomorrow and the same is with Antony Dos Santos, also not available for tomorrow, so we have to sort that out."

I know it's got nothing to do with Manchester United, but the big story in England at the moment is around Manchester City and their situation with the Premier League and their finances... do you have an opinion on that, does that have any relevance whatsoever to Manchester United given you've been competing with Manchester City for a period of time that we're talking about?

"No, I don't have [an opinion] because I'm not here for financial or regulations, I'm a football manager. So, I stick to that and I think others has to deal with that."

Casemiro, did you consider appealing his three-match ban at all?
"Consider? Yeah. Still, for me, it's not the right decision but I don't think we have a chance in a legal process."

Will United appeal Casemiro's ban?


Erik ten Hag answers the question on the Brazilian during Tuesday's press conference.

How pleased are you with the home form? It seems like Old Trafford has got that fear factor back now with 13 successive wins, sides are coming to Old Trafford again with trepidation...
"It was one of our aims this season, to get that back. It was a part of the process to restore Man United to the club we were once. But, it's a part of it. Home is good, but I think we have away also good results, but in away games, we can show even more personality, play more convincingly. So, that's the next step we have to make to have the same team on the pitch with personality as we are at home. Obviously, I'm really happy with the process we've shown at home, it's great to have that connection with Old Trafford, but also, I think we have to be aware that when we play away, we always have a lot of fans following us and we can do the same away because the pitches are the same size, it's 11 v 11, nothing changes. So, in that fact, we can grow, we still have steps to make, and we are happy with that as well because it is a good challenge."

How much of a blow is Casemiro's absence and how much does it change your thinking?
"I'm the manager, I always have to play with the players who are available. We have a squad, we have many good players available in that squad, who are not always in the starting XI. So, others [will] get the chance and I have to do it. After the game, I can't say Casemiro is not there, Anthony Martial is not there, no, we have to win. This squad, all players in [it], are Man United capable, so they have to perform tomorrow, and we have to win the games no matter who is coming on the pitch."