Ten Hag: Man Utd quadruple talk only for the fans

By Sports Desk March 01, 2023

Erik ten Hag says any talk of Manchester United being in the hunt for a quadruple this season is "for the fans".

United ended a six-year wait for silverware on Sunday with a 2-0 victory over Newcastle United in the EFL Cup final at Wembley.

The Red Devils have an FA Cup fifth-round tie against West Ham to come on Wednesday and face Real Betis over two legs in the Europa League last 16 after eliminating Barcelona.

Despite being eight points adrift of leaders Arsenal, third-place United are also arguably still in the Premier League title race with the business end of the season still approaching.

On-loan striker Wout Weghorst was bullish after the Newcastle win in declaring United are targeting four trophies this season, but Ten Hag insists it is not something that has crossed his mind at this stage.

"That is for [the] fans," he said ahead of facing West Ham. "We have to focus on the next game and that is the only thing we are doing.

"Us, we are talking for 10 minutes and I didn't hear the words West Ham United. I think it was the press conference for West Ham United so it's only about this we have to talk about.

"We don't have to talk about trophies. We have to talk about West Ham United, that is the game tomorrow."

United have played 19 times since returning from the World Cup break in December and the fixtures continue to come thick and fast on multiple fronts, with games in three different competitions over the next week or so.

Rather than complain about the workload, though, Ten Hag feels playing regularly can only be a good thing for his side.

"In my experience in Ajax, when we dropped out of Europe the levels went down and when you are in it gives energy," he said.

"Until now, we have managed [the schedule] quite well and I think we can do it also until the end of the season. Except Anthony Martial, the availability from all the players is there."

United follow up the visit of West Ham to Old Trafford with a trip to fierce rivals Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday, before hosting Real Betis in the first leg of their Europa League knockout tie.

Related items

  • Foden vows his Bellingham partnership will improve after England criticism Foden vows his Bellingham partnership will improve after England criticism

    Phil Foden is confident his combination play with Jude Bellingham will improve after the Manchester City star's performance in England's Euro 2024 opener came in for criticism.

    While Real Madrid talisman Bellingham scored the winning goal against Serbia with a powerful early header and produced an inspirational display, the impact of Foden was more limited.

    Foden scored 27 goals and added 13 assists in a stunning club season for Premier League winners Man City, but he created just one chance in Sunday's 1-0 victory.

    The 24-year-old moved out to the left flank, making way to accommodate Bellingham playing centrally behind captain Harry Kane, with Bukayo Saka out on the right.

    As well as not making a creative impact, Foden also failed to register a single shot in an unusually quiet outing.

    But Foden is confident he and Bellingham will get the best out of each other despite calls for him to be dropped from Gareth Southgate's starting XI ahead of Wednesday’s second match against Denmark.

    "Jude is obviously an exceptional talent, he carries himself really well and I think he is turning into a leader," said Foden.

    "Our link up play is good at times. I think it is improving as well and can keep getting better.

    "He is an exciting talent and I enjoy playing with him."

    Foden acknowledged the Serbia match had provided an early test for England, but that was something he welcomed.

    He added: "The first game of a major tournament is always the most difficult – it is important to get off to a win and we did that.

    "It was difficult at times. Obviously, we had to defend at times and dig deep.

    "But I think that shows a different side to us and if we are going to win something I think that we have to do that."

    England, who were pre-tournament favourites, will be hoping to top Group C in order to avoid a potential last-16 tie against hosts Germany, who lead Group A. The winners of Group A will face the runners-up of Group C in Dortmund on June 29.

    After facing Denmark, England's group-stage campaign will conclude with a match against Slovenia on Tuesday.

  • Portugal 2-1 Czechia: Conceicao's last-gasp heroics salvage Selecao on Ronaldo's landmark outing Portugal 2-1 Czechia: Conceicao's last-gasp heroics salvage Selecao on Ronaldo's landmark outing

    Francisco Conceicao proved the hero on his first competitive appearance for Portugal after his stoppage-time winner snatched a 2-1 victory over Czechia in their Euro 2024 opener.

    Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in the European Championship's 64-year history to appear in six editions, but his landmark moment was overshadowed by a glimpse into Portugal's future.

    Conceicao was introduced after 90 minutes and scored just two minutes later, capitalising on a loose ball to send Portugal level on points with leaders Turkiye, who beat Georgia 3-1 earlier on Tuesday in Group F.

    Robin Hranac's unavoidable own-goal had earlier cancelled out Lukas Provod's rocketed second-half opener before Conceicao announced himself on the international stage at the Leipzig Stadium.

    Roberto Martinez's team were the only side to win every qualifying game for this tournament, with a perfect 10 wins from as many matches, and dominated the first half of their opener without reward.

    Ronaldo almost marked his landmark appearance with a goal just eight minutes in but rushed an unmarked header in uncharacteristic fashion from Rafael Leao's whipped cross.

    Bruno Fernandes angled a deflected long-range effort narrowly over as the one-way traffic persisted, before the Manchester United midfielder's teasing ball just evaded the lunging Leao.

    Fernandes was again the architect when his delicate throughball found Ronaldo, who was denied by Jindrich Stanek's fantastic stop from point-blank range.

    The Czechia goalkeeper was on hand once more before the interval, parrying away another fizzing Ronaldo strike as these two sides were the first to be goalless at half-time at Euro 2024.

    Portugal completed 368 passes in that first-half onslaught, their most on record in a single half at the European Championships since records began in 1980, and little changed after the break.

    Ronaldo tested the hands of Stanek with a dipping free-kick just before the hour, though Portugal were stunned soon after when Provod cannoned into the top-left corner from the perimeter of Diogo Costa's area.

    Yet a response swiftly followed as Stanek parried Leao's downwards back-post header against Hranac, who could only deflect into his own net to level proceedings.

    Diogo Jota had a late finish ruled out by VAR after Ronaldo was adjudged offside before his rebounded strike, though Conceicao pounced from Pedro Neto's half-cleared left-wing cross to snatch all three points.

    Substitute heroics save Ronaldo's landmark appearance

    Ronaldo already holds the record for the most appearances in European Championship history (26), though this outing marked another historic moment for the 39-year-old.

    Having featured at every Euros since his 2004 debut, Ronaldo is the first to go to six editions of the tournament, where his 14 goals make him the leading scorer in history.

    The former Manchester United attacker could not add to his tally here, and it was a familiar tale at the Euros for Ronaldo, who missed the 2016 final victory over France after his gut-wrenching injury.

    Eder stepped up as the extra-time hero on that occasion, and he was the last Portugal substitute to score at the Euros before Conceicao did so here.

    Conceicao's goal came just 111 seconds after being introduced and marks the fastest such goal since Ferran Torres for Spain against Slovakia in June 2021 (41 seconds) – what an introduction for the Porto man.

    Czech need more from Schick

    Patrik Schick scored five of Czechia's six goals at Euro 2020, becoming only the second Czech player to be the sole or joint-top scorer at a European Championship tournament – after Milan Baros at the 2004 edition (five goals).

    The forward has since lifted the Bundesliga title with Bayer Leverkusen last term, helping Xabi Alonso's side to an unbeaten league season with seven top-flight goals.

    Considering his record at the Euros and the 2023-24 trophy-winning campaign, Czechia may want more from their star striker – who was withdrawn on the hour after being cautioned and failing to manage a single shot.

    Yet with or without Schick, Czechia could have never prepared for Conceicao's late intervention. Ivan Hasek's side have now lost five straight games against Portugal and must bounce back when they face Georgia on Saturday.

  • Mainoo pleased to have 'peace of mind' over ten Hag decision Mainoo pleased to have 'peace of mind' over ten Hag decision

    Kobbie Mainoo is pleased to have “peace of mind” over the future of Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag.

    The Dutchman looked set to be sacked following a disappointing season, only to lead United to FA Cup success against Manchester City last month.

    Mainoo, who is away with England at Euro 2024, scored the decisive goal in the 2-1 win at Wembley to cap off an impressive debut year for the 19-year-old. 

    Following United's 13th FA Cup success, a post-season review ultimately led to Ten Hag being told he would remain in charge at Old Trafford under the new ownership. 

    Mainoo is preparing for the Three Lions' second group game against Denmark on Thursday, having made his international tournament debut against Serbia as a late substitute. 

    When asked for his verdict on United’s decision to keep ten Hag, Mainoo was thankful for his head coach after his maiden season with the first team. 

    'I am so GRATEFUL for Erik ten Hag, I can't thank him enough!' Kobbie Mainoo#manutd #mufc #eriktenhag

    Full press conference on the BeanymanSports YouTube channel https://t.co/XK0O6uf59H pic.twitter.com/QIZ5eq5xbI

    — BeanymanSports (@BeanymanSports) June 18, 2024

    "Obviously, (I am) happy to be building with him," Mainoo said. "He’s already got two trophies, hopefully there’s more to come. 

    "It’s nice to have that peace of mind that we know what manager we’re going back to in the new season.

    "I’m so grateful for him that he put so much trust in me and belief in me to play in the team. Yeah, I can’t thank him enough."

    Mainoo made 32 appearances across all competitions, scoring five goals, ultimately resulting in his inclusion in the 26-man squad that travelled to Germany, picked ahead of the likes of James Maddison, Jordan Henderson, and Jack Grealish. 

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.