Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Winning FA Cup would be an over-achievement, says Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 23 Apr 2024

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Erik ten Hag claims Manchester United will have over-achieved if they win the FA Cup this season.

Ten Hag and his team have faced criticism after edging past Championship side Coventry on penalties in the semi-finals, having been 3-0 up with 20 minutes to go.

They will take on Manchester City in a repeat of last year’s final hoping to exact revenge and, despite their league struggles, Ten Hag was bullish about what that would mean.

United could miss out on European football altogether, but the Red Devils boss believes the club’s struggles with injury this campaign are a major mitigating factor.

“I would say it’s over-performing with all the problems we have had,” said the Dutchman of the possibility of silverware.

“Getting into the final is already a big achievement, but we are here for trophies. We have an opportunity to win a trophy and that is good. But we are not satisfied by being in the final, we want to win it and that is what we will go for and it’s our mentality.

“That is why we are successful. That’s why I am successful over 10 years as a manager, I always bring out the maximum of each squad.”

Ten Hag was in a combative mood in the press room ahead of Wednesday’s Premier League clash with Sheffield United, branding the media reaction to his side’s cup display “embarrassing” and “a disgrace”.

Many fans were also critical and Ten Hag added of the late collapse: “We were not happy with it. I can see the fans are not happy with it as well, but they get fed by opinions.

“But all over, what I heard is that the fans are very happy we are again in the FA Cup final. Even for Manchester United, it is not business as usual, they were not so often in the FA Cup final and they were never in the FA Cup final two times in a row.”

United’s injury problems continued on Sunday, with Alejandro Garnacho, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay all picking up issues, and the latter two are doubtful for Wednesday.

Casemiro could again be required in defence, while United’s bench at the weekend featured five teenagers.

“We will put a team out that is capable of winning the match, even if we have to be really creative,” said Ten Hag.

One of the players who will be hoping for a start is 21-year-old Amad Diallo, who has featured five times as a substitute over the past couple of months.

“Amad deserves it, but don’t forget he had a long period in the season injured, so we rebuilt him and now he has had some opportunities and a real contribution,” said Ten Hag.

“He played in a position that is not his best position. He started as a striker and then he had to play in the midfield, so he did well. We have a number of players in that area, there is big competition.

“But I am very happy with his performances and his progress, I see his qualities and his assets can really contribute to our game.”

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