Every word from Erik's press conference

Friday 15 September 2023 14:28

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has addressed the media at Carrington, ahead of our return to Premier League action against Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday (15:00 BST).

The Dutchman was quizzed on a range of topics from Jadon Sancho to Harry Maguire, while also informing the media which of his players are fit to face the Seagulls in M16.

With Roberto De Zerbi's side enjoying a strong start to the new campaign, Erik also admitted United will have to be at our best to keep our impressive home record in all competitions going.

Scroll down further to read, and watch, everything Ten Hag had to say earlier this afternoon...
Part one: Press conference v Brighton Video

Part one: Press conference v Brighton

Press conference part one | Erik was asked about Jadon Sancho, Antony, Harry Maguire and the latest team news...

Erik, could you first of all clarify whether Jadon Sancho is in the squad tomorrow, and also there was a lot that has happened since you spoke to the media after the Arsenal game. Could you give us an indication as to what's happening and why there is this issue?
“We close the game, we work on the feedback. We give the team the feedback and I think we played very well at Arsenal. We could already see before the game, we trained very well and we played very well. We deserved much more at Arsenal and it was not on our side, and that was also the outcome of our analysts. You see we are progressing against a good Arsenal side, but minimum we had to get was a draw there. I think we should have won there but we didn't. We take the performance and also in the last two days, when all the players they came back, we trained very well and we are ready to fight Brighton, a very good Brighton. But we are really looking forward to it and we have a good vibe, we are ready for it.”

With respect, I asked you about Jadon Sancho. His response to what you said after the game and also the statement that came out yesterday and whether there has been a resolution to that?
“I think everything is set. As I said, [the] squad is strong, [the] squad is in good spirit, good mood, going into the game.”
It doesn't feel there is a good mood when you consider the Jadon situation, Antony obviously is not available to you. How can the squad be in good shape?
“They are very good because you have sometimes setbacks in seasons, players are injured or, for other reasons not available. Therefore, you construct a squad and the squad is very good. The players who are available are very motivated to give a good performance.”

Erik can you give us an insight into who is available for this game? Lisandro Martinez, is he okay to play?

No issues with his injury anymore then?

Ten Hag reveals team news


The boss delivers an update on his squad in advance of the home game with Brighton.

Victor Lindelof, is he okay?

Mason Mount?

Raphael Varane?
“No, but both are in a good place. They are shortly coming [towards] a return.”

Can I ask you about Harry Maguire as well? The England manager Gareth Southgate and Harry's mum have spoken out about some of the abuse that Harry has received over the last few weeks and months, even years for Harry, the way it has been going. How have you supported him through this situation, you have seen him on a day-to-day basis here around the club?
“I think I have said already, many times, it is disrespectful. He does not deserve it, he is a great player and [he has] given great performances. It's crazy but it's how it works and Harry has to block this by [his] performances.”
Obviously, Harry has said as well he is able to cope with the criticism, the scrutiny, the abuse. On a day-to-day basis, as I say, being here and around him, how do you see him dealing with that?
“Good. But this is also unjustified to his career. It's a great career and it has a lot to come. He has to block it by good performances.”

Hi Erik, how much do you feel like something of a father figure to these players with all the management you have to do around them. It's not just what they are doing on the training pitch is it?
“No. It's also you live with this generation and about [forming a] team construction, the group dynamic, but it is always about the team. [The] team is ahead of everything else and, in the team, everyone plays a different role. [You have] different characters and you have to manage those characters, but also, as I said, the team is always above anything else.”

We know you can have a very strict line sometimes, but do you stick to that with these players? Or have you been able to give a little bit more leeway to others?
“Yeah but the straight line is not the point. The club asked me because there was no good culture before I entered last season. To set some standards, and that's what I did. It's my job to control the standards and, of course, it's never has been when one person just makes one mistake, there is a whole process before you come to a certain outcome about straight lines. If staff, players, or whoever, there will always be a structure to cross lines, you have to be strong, absolutely.”
Pellistri: We are in touch every day Video

Pellistri: We are in touch every day

Facundo Pellistri discusses his message from Erik ten Hag as he hopes to make his mark...

You mention there the culture every since you have arrived, Brighton was your first Premier League game. How do you see this team now against Brighton, compared to where you first started?
“I love to play them. It is not typical and we had two great games against them and it was really head-to-head and we have to play tomorrow at our best. They will not let you sacrifice or suffer but also, it [also] gives you a lot of options. I am really looking forward to going into that fight.”

Do you have an idea on how long Antony may be away from the club?
“No idea.”

Have you spoken to him over the last few days, does he seem okay?
“Of course he is disappointed, but he is okay.”