Erik ten Hag is keeping his focus firmly on Manchester United’s pursuit of further silverware even as he met prospective new owner Jim Ratcliffe on Friday.
Ratcliffe and his INEOS delegation arrived in Manchester for talks over a potential takeover of the club as the Glazer family looks to bring its time in charge to an end.
Ten Hag met the group but is not giving much thought to the possible change at the top, with United set to face Fulham in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday.
“I just met them and shook hands but I am focused on the game,” Ten Hag told a pre-match press conference.
“We play a big game on Sunday and all our focus is on that. Others in the club are dealing with potential investors.
“My job is focus on the game so let’s talk about the game Fulham, it is a big tie so let’s get ready for that.”
United have been drawn against Sevilla in the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
Sevilla have won the competition six times, more than any other club, prevailing in four of the last nine editions. Should United overcome them, they will face the winner of the tie between Juventus and Sporting CP, who knocked out Premier League leaders Arsenal in the last 16.
In short, United have been handed probably the most difficult route to the final.
We’ve been drawn against Sevilla in the @EuropaLeague quarter-finals #MUFC || #UEL pic.twitter.com/MffXYKDW1K
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 17, 2023
“It is going to be tough, they are very experienced in the Europa League, won it so many times so I don’t know the team in detail but for me the most important is football and I don’t look forward to Seville,” he added.
“First we have the international break and then three Premier League games so there is much time to focus on that, so definitely all the opponents who are coming to this stage of Europa League they are strong and you have to play your best football if you want to go through.”
United’s EFL Cup final win over Newcastle United at Wembley marked their first trophy since 2017, and Ten Hag believes that has whetted his side’s appetite for more.
“We have to set a winning culture. We are Manchester United. We have to win all the games, we have to compete in all the leagues,” said Ten Hag when asked about his team’s mentality in the cup competitions.
“That is the mentality. The mentality is when you go into a game you have to win it.
“Of course it [the prospect of returning to Wembley] is huge motivation. We enjoyed winning a trophy and it has to be the fuel for the next one and push for that idea and that has to bring extra energy to beat Fulham.”
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