Erik ten Hag: In 18 months, I have never had my favourite team on the pitch once

"I don't have any concern about what is said on the outside."

by Sead Dedovic
Erik ten Hag: In 18 months, I have never had my favourite team on the pitch once
© Richard Heathcote/Getty Images Sport

Before the FA Cup semifinal and the match against Coventry City, Erik ten Hag spoke about the challenges of this season that his team faces from game to game. Manchester United managed to defeat the English second-tier team with much more difficulty than expected. Despite having a 3-0 lead, Erik ten Hag's team surprisingly conceded three goals, and the regular part of the match ended with a score of 3-3. After extra time where there were no goals, penalties were played. Manchester United was more focused, and Hojlund confirmed the victory with the last penalty.

The Dutch coach emphasized in his media interview that he is not particularly worried about rumors that United's executives might fire him. The experienced Dutch manager knows his qualities well, as well as the qualities of the team, confident that United can achieve great things next season. Erik ten Hag highlighted the injuries that have been a problem for his team throughout the season. He is not happy with the fact that there have been rare moments during the season when he had a complete team available.

"I don't have any concern about what is said on the outside.
What concerns me is that in 18 months, I have never had my favourite team on the pitch once, because players were injured - that concerns me. In fact, there was only one time, against City at home last season. That is the only time I had a full squad to pick my full team.
"- Erik ten Hag said, as quoted by Eurosport!

In some key moments this season, United had to do better. Looking at the current situation, only a miracle could see United finish at least as 5th, which under the new rules could lead them to the Champions League next season. However, Germans seem like a more likely candidate at this point for the additional spot that leads to the Champions League. The Dutch manager expected a much easier job this season, but this season has been worse than his first.

"In all the other games, there was an injury aspect that we have had to deal with. That's normal in football, but not as many as we have had. I know that when we've had so many injuries in crucial key positions, you can't deliver the results you want to bring. That's OK, but that's my truth - others can have different truths but I can't put any energy into that."- he continued!

Erik ten Hag explained that he doesn't allocate any mental energy to concerns about whether he is perceived fairly or unfairly. Instead, he focuses on his duties and objectives within his role.

Erik ten Hag expressed his understanding of the team's mission and his personal objectives, emphasizing the dual goals of achieving success on the field and contributing to the club's financial prosperity. He affirmed the team's commitment to these objectives.

Erik ten Hag goals for the season and FA Cup

His task this season was to ensure that Manchester United finishes in the top 4 and secures Champions League matches for the next season. He didn't meet the board's expectations, which doesn't necessarily guarantee his dismissal. It will be interesting to see if the board trusts the Dutchman and gives him another chance next season. United has previously made mistakes by changing coaches from season to season, so many believe that perhaps Erik ten Hag staying could be an opportunity for United to develop into a team capable of competing for the highest goals.

Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag© Richard Heathcote/Getty Images Sport

Erik ten Hag emphasized the inevitability of encountering challenges in any pursuit and outlined his practical method for handling setbacks. While stressinng some criticisms lacked nuance, he made it clear that he chooses not to dwell on them. Rather, he takes a rational stance, focusing entirely on improving his team and individual players. 

Manchester United has a chance to save their season by playing in the FA Cup final against their city rivals. It will be a great opportunity for Erik ten Hag's team to achieve a fantastic result and attempt to win a trophy. It would be an important moment for them, especially considering the prospect of defeating their city rivals.

However, many do not give them great odds considering the poor performances of the club throughout the season. Finals can be unpredictable, especially when it comes to derbies. It will be interesting to see these two teams face off. Pep Guardiola has missed out on the treble but still has a chance to win the Premier League and the Cup.

Erik ten Hag will try to save the season at Wembley.

Erik Ten Hag