Erik ten Hag has spoken to the media ahead of Manchester United’s Europa League group stage opener against Real Sociedad.
United have bounced back superbly from their disastrous beginning to the new season, winning their last four matches – including landmark victories against Liverpool and Arsenal.
The Red Devils get their European campaign underway on Thursday evening. Here’s what Ten Hag had to say at his pre-match press conference.
What are your thoughts on Chelsea sacking Thomas Tuchel?
“I feel sorry, but there is nothing I can say. It’s Chelsea, not Man United. It’s early in the season, yes.”
Will Cristiano Ronaldo return to the starting lineup?
“He started against Brentford, then not since, but he is ready to start. Of course [he can start for the majority of games].”
What are your plans for Europa League rotation?
“We have to win every game. We want to win every tournament, so we take everything seriously. We not only have a team, we have a squad, but we have to win every game and that is the mentality Manchester United needs.
“Maybe I can not keep them all happy every game, but everyone gets the game time if they perform well – quite clear. As I’ve said, we need everyone, we have a lot of games to cover.”
What’s the mood like in the squad?
“It’s always difficult when you lose games, the mood is not the same, but we always come here every day to give 100%, to get better in every aspect and that we can be, obviously after Brentford we had a full week to prepare for a game we knew would be difficult. We won it, it’s in the past now, we want to focus on tomorrow and do the same things every game.”
What have you made of Marcus Rashford’s return to form?
“Once again, it’s difficult for me to talk about the past. What I see is a happy Marcus Rashford. We worked really hard the last two months with him on different aspects. He likes it, he wants to transfer it to the pitch. It started with happiness, he comes in every day, he enjoys it, he’s smiling, a really positive vibe, and if you put all of those things together – like the way of play – and you are happy, you will contribute more to the team.”
Does Rashford plan to sign a new contract?
“Definitely. I don’t think he’s out of contract and I think United control the situation.”