Every word: Ten Hag's cup-final press conference
Erik ten Hag was cool, calm and composed throughout his press conference to preview Manchester United's Emirates FA Cup final against City.
The manager sat down with journalists inside Carrington's Jimmy Murphy Centre to analyse Saturday's showpiece occasion at Wembley Stadium.
After providing injury updates on Antony and Anthony Martial, Ten Hag spoke confidently about our chances and looked forward to an enthralling derby.
There was also a word on striker Wout Weghorst, who might have an important role to play. Here, you can read every word from his press conference...
Hi, Erik. In terms of team news, is there any players that will be unavailable that we weren't expecting? And will Antony Dos Santos be fit?
“Unlikely. Dos Santos still has a chance, but it's a really small chance.”
Has there been a setback, because you seemed more positive the other day?
“Yeah. He did make the progress. So what I say is he still has a chance, but either unlikely he is available.”
How much of a blow will that be for you and Anthony Martial, who I know hasn't been available for you all season on a regular basis, but would have been a good option?
“Yeah, but as I said all the time, I have these questions so many times from you all media about absence from players in the last couple of months. And every time I say the same answer. It's about the players who are available. And every time we were successful not every time, but a lot of times, many times we were successful. So we have a good squad and from a good squad we make a good team.”
“No, that will not be the case. Always after a couple of days it will settle down and then you move in the summer. But I think we had a good season. But of course we have a great opportunity to make it a very good season.”
Do you need to know what happens in this game to know what the gap is to Manchester City and what you have to do in the summer to get closer?
“Of course, it's a test, but you can’t set that conclusions based on one game. So therefore you need more. So already we make that evaluation and I make my conclusions. But nevertheless, it's a good test on Saturday.”
So what do you say to the fans who are desperate for you to win, to stop City?
“We want to win. We want to win a cup. And it's not about stopping them. It is about that we win, that we win a cup. We have a great opportunity.”
“Yeah. So that's great that we deserved that opportunity to be in the cup final and then meet Man City, that it's a great opportunity and we fought so hard for it. I think we progressed that well that we are in that FA Cup final.”
And we saw the pain that Sir Alex Ferguson had when he had to present Pep Guardiola with the Manager of the Year trophy. I just wonder from your point of view, talking about this project, how soon do you believe you'll be in a position to perhaps save him from that pain and challenge City and even finish above them in the Premier League?
“Yeah. So I think they do a very good job. They play very good football, so they deserve it. But I don't look at, of course I look at all this because our opponents and I graduated, but we look to ourselves and you have to see where you are as a club. And from there on you have to make progress. And I think we did over the last season. We make very good progress. We are in a good direction and I know we use the coming period as well now we get the opportunity in the summer to make new targets, new goals on the short term, but the longer term, yeah, that will stay the same. As I said last year, we want to restore Man United. But yeah, we have a way to go.”
“I'm very [excited] and I played many cup finals in the Netherlands as a player and as a coach, and it was always fantastic experiences. And in the Netherlands we have the cup and that is there's a special place to be. But Wembley, I think that is probably the best stadium in the world and to be there in a cup final, It's really exciting.”
Is this the best game in your career?
“Oh, I don't know. I had some more, I would say. So it's definitely a big game, but so I don't want to make an assessment on what is the biggest game, but we have a great opportunity and we have a good opponent, a great opponent, and we looking forward to the test.”
Is this a game that you have to win?
“Every game you have to win. Yeah. If you play football, football is about winning. It's about results. So yeah, every game you play, you have to win.”
“I think that is very good when you see where we came from and then you see the development of progress of the team and then you are in a tough league as the Premier League. You are third and you are winning the League Cup and you are in the final of the FA Cup. I think then you can be happy with the season. But also I know after summer we start, we start again and we start on zero.”
Is it the last game for Wout Weghorst for United?
“I don't know. You can't say that in this moment. I'm not in this moment into transfer politics. I'm in to win this game and we will do everything. And I think Wout played very good for us, very good contribution to the team result. I think he did what we took him for.”