Erik ten Hag exclusive: Man Utd coach negotiates Marcus Rashford, Pep Guardiola, Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo | Football news

Erik ten Hag has passed two blockbuster tests in the Premier League at Liverpool and Arsenal, but the Manchester United manager has given his all as his side is ready for the challenge of the fiercest opponents. theirs on Sunday afternoon.

“This is the biggest event, the whole world will be looking at us,” he said Sky Sports News. “It was a big event.”

If there are still any United fans worried Ten Hag might not fully appreciate the importance of the Manchester derby, he has sought to allay their fears. “Expect a team that is well prepared,” he said, “a team that has the right mentality and fights to fight the opponent and a team that has only one belief to win that game. .”

You get the feeling that he knows what’s to come but what about the new signings, Antony and Lisandro Martinez, who haven’t been through this game yet? “Don’t worry, they know how big the game is,” insisted Ten Hag.

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“The good thing for them is that their approach in every game is to fight, give everything, 100% is not enough and you can be sure they will bring more on the pitch. But it’s not just them. , all the players, they are aware of the importance of this game.”

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag believes the new signings will know what the Manchester derby means before the game.

This United squad has shown their resilience. Losing to Brighton and being beaten by Brentford in their first two games seems like a long time ago. Victory over Liverpool and Arsenal will see confidence increase and reinforce the belief that United have good players.

Rashford’s rejuvenation under Ten Hag

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Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag has revealed what he has changed at the club this season to help striker Marcus Rashford.

Erling Haaland’s eleven goals – and how to stop him – were central to the build-up, but Ten Hag had his own trick, with Marcus Rashford likely to return in time from injury. .

Ten Hag added: “From day one, he was so talented and I was excited to work with him. “I knew in advance what his huge impact was, he had the potential. I know he delivers that in every game and in every decision on the pitch. I’m really pleased with the development. his game and I hope he will continue. We’re pretty positive about him playing. We’ll have to wait and see the response of the coaching.”

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Before the Manchester derby, Erling Haaland had told Gary Neville he was ‘ready’ to face Manchester United.

Rashford looked rejuvenated under Ten Hag after his goals against Liverpool and Arsenal and September’s Player and Manager of the Month have both enjoyed the nurturing of his talent.

“I told him I wanted to see you smile every day,” Ten Hag said of Rashford. “We prepare the training sessions well, and then it’s up to you to give your best. When you feel like it, when you enjoy the training, you can give your best, you will improve and your performance will go up.”

Ten Hag ‘convinces’ Maguire to fight again

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says he supports defender Harry Maguire for believing in him, despite the criticism he received while playing for England.

While Rashford’s injury forced him to miss England’s matches against Italy and Germany, plenty of his teammates were scattered across the globe to work for their countries. Ten Hag had plenty of positives as he regrouped his squad ahead of the club’s first Premier League game since the win over Arsenal in September.

The Dutchman has been full of praise for Luke Shaw’s performances for England and the likes of Diogo Dalot and Bruno Fernandes, who are both on the scoresheet for Portugal. Not for the first time, though, he has also had to question his captain Harry Maguire, who has had another rough week.

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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag backs Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo after his limited game time and challenging performances while on international duty.

But how can Ten Hag help him?

“By backing him,” said the United manager, “I believe in his potential and I tell him I believe in the player and the people. I’m sure he has the potential. [still believe in himself]. I believe he will hit back.

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The latest episode of The Overlap sees Gary Neville strike up a conversation with former team-mate Paul Scholes, where they discuss all things Manchester United including what happened and what went right.

“He’s aware of his great ability, and he’ll come back. You know, as a defender, when you make a mistake, you get hammered for that mistake. is top football because there are good opponents and good attackers.”

Maguire isn’t the only player to go through a challenging time on international duty – there have been calls in the Portuguese press for Cristiano Ronaldo’s elimination before the World Cup.

“If anyone can deal with that it’s Cristiano Ronaldo because his whole career they look at him, the whole world is looking at him and the whole world has high expectations for him. for sure he’ll be back because he’s put in. scoring goals his whole career, and he’s going to do that this year too, and then I think everyone’s going to be quiet.”

Ronaldo could start his first Premier League game in more than seven weeks if Rashford and Anthony Martial fail to pass a late fitness test. But does Ten Hag believe it can deliver on Sunday? “Every confidence,” he asserts: “Yes, all confidence is due to his profile and personality and, yes, he can bring.”

Dinner date with Pep

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola drew comparisons on the scale between Lisandro Martinez and Erling Haaland.

Eight years on from working alongside Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, Ten Hag will see his mentor again on Sunday afternoon. Ten Hag says it’s like winning the lottery to have the opportunity to work with Guardiola.

Ten Hag said: “I think for my development as a manager, it’s good to be there as a U23 coach. “The team in a big club, in a club with a great mentality born of a good philosophy and, of course, Pep Guardiola has driven a complete change in German football.

“In that environment, I learned a lot. I am really grateful for the opportunity he gave me to have a closer look at his work. He has done amazing things. in football, not only in collecting all the awards but also in the way he does it.” really admire that. “

They have yet to find a way to meet, but have a date in the diary for dinner regardless of the outcome on Sunday.

Keep Haaland quiet

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag dismissed questions about Erling Haaland by saying his side must prepare for the whole Manchester City team on Sunday.

Much of that will depend on keeping Haaland quiet. The 22-year-old forward is looking for a third consecutive hat-trick at home and is in brilliant form. But Ten Hag and Martinez masterminded it before that when Ajax beat Borussia Dortmund 4-0 away in the Champions League last season.

“I think the approach we took in that game was good. But forget the past, we look to the future,” said Ten Hag.

Ajax had more than 70% of possession that day, and few would have expected United to have anything like it at the Etihad Stadium, which is why the showdown between centre-back Martinez and his Haaland is so attractive.

Can Martinez do it again on Sunday? Ten Hag said: “He didn’t do it alone. I don’t expect that from him, we have to do it as a team.” If United leave the Etihad for something then Martinez’s battle with Haaland could be the deciding game of this derby.


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