Man Utd 'where we want to be' but not focused on silverware, says Ten Hag

By Sports Desk January 05, 2023

Erik ten Hag says Manchester United are where they wanted to be midway through his first season in charge, though he refuses to be distracted by thoughts of ending their trophy drought.

United are among the favourites to seal a top-four Premier League finish after winning each of their three games since returning to action at the beginning of the festive period.

The Red Devils have swept aside struggling sides Nottingham Forest, Wolves and Bournemouth without conceding a single goal since the World Cup, and Ten Hag is satisfied with their progress.

"Let's say this – I think we are in a good position, we are where we want to be," Ten Hag said at Thursday's press conference ahead of their FA Cup tie against Everton.

"The focus is from game to game, we play in many competitions, so we have to not think too far ahead.

"We have to go from game to game and work on progressing. It's all about the team firstly, and the individuals second. When the team plays well, the individuals will get better."

While a return to the Champions League is a key aim for United, the club are also desperate to end a six-year trophy drought, having last lifted a piece of major silverware when they won the Europa League under Jose Mourinho in 2017.

Asked what it would mean to land a trophy in his first season at Old Trafford, Ten Hag said: "I don't think about that. 

"In this stage of the season, it's not what you are looking at. You have to look to get into a position where you can win something. There are so many games to play.

"When you think too far ahead, you get distracted. We have to think about the team's performance, the team's development. We have to concentrate on that and work together to get it better."

Ten Hag led Ajax to two KNVB Cup triumphs in his four-and-a-half-year spell with club, and the Dutchman is excited for his first taste of FA Cup football.

"For me, the cup is always special. I know in England the FA Cup has even higher expectations and standards than in the Netherlands, but I liked it in the Netherlands as well," Ten Hag said.

"In not so many games, you can achieve a lot. There also has to be a winner, with a replay if it's a draw. It's a knockout and I like that."

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