‘Mentally, they are really ambitious. That gives them energy’: Marathon schedule does not scare us, insists Erik ten Hag… but Manchester United boss plays down talk of the Quadruple after winning the Carabao Cup
- Man United have played 40 games this season and could reach a total of 65
- They face West Ham on Wednesday night three days after winning Carabao Cup
- Ten Hag’s side are still in title race ahead of Sunday’s trip to rivals Liverpool
Erik ten Hag insists Manchester United’s squad can cope with the demands of a marathon season but has played down talk of a Quadruple.
United meet West Ham in the FA Cup fifth round at Old Trafford on Wednesday night three days after beating Newcastle at Wembley to lift the Carabao Cup.
Ten Hag’s side are still in the Premier League title race ahead of Sunday’s trip to Liverpool, and meet Real Betis in the last 16 of the Europa League.
United have already played 40 games this season and could reach a total of 65 if they progress in all competitions. The most games the club have ever played in a single campaign is 66 in 2008-09.
Ten Hag says his players can handle the workload and claimed that winning will give them the energy to keep going.
Man United have already played 40 games this season and could reach a total of 65
Ten Hag’s squad returned to training on Monday ahead of an FA Cup clash with West Ham
‘First, mentally, they are really ambitious. That is one thing and that gives the energy,’ said the United manager.
‘Second, we have the type of players who can handle the load, the physical load.
‘Until now, we have managed it quite well and I think we can also do it until the end of the season.’
Asked if there is a danger that United could drop off after winning the Carabao Cup, he replied: ‘I can’t see that.
‘It’s a trophy but it’s not the end of the season. What I have heard around me, when I see the fight in the dressing-room, it’s not like we are satisfied with this.
‘We want to do better, that is quite clear. So it’s inspiring and it’s not the end, definitely not.
Erik ten Hag helped secure Man United’s first trophy since 2017 after beating Newcastle 2-0
‘In my experience at Ajax, when we dropped out of Europe the levels went down. When you are in, it gives energy.’
However, Ten Hag was reluctant to discuss the possibility of a Quadruple as excitement builds around his first season at the club.
‘That is for fans,’ he said. ‘We have to focus on the next game. I can’t influence that but we have high expectations from ourselves. We are ambitious to play better.’
Luke Shaw and Fred are both rated doubtful for tonight’s (wed) game, while Ten Hag couldn’t guarantee that Anthony Martial will be fit to return from a hip injury before the international break towards the end of next month.
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