Key quotes: Ten Hag on Mainoo and Martinez

Friday 29 March 2024 12:39

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says Kobbie Mainoo's international exploits with England should be celebrated by all who played a role in the 18-year-old's development through our Academy.

The boss faced the media on Friday afternoon, ahead of the Reds' Premier League trip to Brentford on Saturday (20:00 GMT).

As well as delivering injury updates on Lisandro Martinez and Luke Shaw, Erik also spoke glowingly about our no.37, who made his senior debut for England during the international break and then followed it up with an inaugural start for the Three Lions just days later.

Here, we select the key lines from part one of Ten Hag's press conference, with the boss underlining the importance of carrying momentum from our dramatic FA Cup win over Liverpool into our clash with the Bees.

Part one: Press conference v Brentford Video

Part one: Press conference v Brentford

Press conference part one | Erik delivers a positive squad update ahead of our return to Premier League action...


"It was a wonderful break. It is always good to go with a win into an international break, but definitely such a win. Then the players go to international duties in other teams and playing styles and systems and now they return and they have to get back where we were. In our way of play, get them back in our team. Yesterday we started this process. It is a short slot and we have to be ready but we will be ready."


"I thought it was very good [Mainoo's performance for England] but we are not surprised. We have seen what he is capable of and that he can very quickly adapt to high levels. It looks very natural and we are very, very happy for him and of course, we are a little bit proud, I will say very proud. It is great for the Academy of Manchester United that they bring up a player and then so young they are going into a national team. That is a big compliment for the whole club and then definitely in the first place for himself, because he did it, but also for all the ones that work with him during his Academy time. It is very good. It is very good news for Manchester United."


"We have discussed this before. So far, he handles it very well and if he crosses the line then me as a manager, and us as coaches, we will interfere. So far it is not necessary because he enjoys football and he wants to win. And he wants to give his best every day because he wants to improve. He just wants to have fun on the pitch and for him, it is fun to play dominant, to dictate the game and to win the game."


"Yes, I expect him back before the end of the season, that is the plan and he is still on schedule for this. He will return into our team."

The story of Mainoo's first England start


Kobbie ticked off another achievement in the Three Lions' draw with Belgium on Tuesday.


"Yes there is a chance [he will be in the squad against Brentford]. We have missed him every game because he brings a composure in the team and a calmness in the team and, at the same time, a winning attitude. He can express this very clearly, he can transfer that to the team and that contributes to our levels."