Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial will return for Manchester United's EFL Cup semi-final second leg against Nottingham Forest, Erik ten Hag confirmed.

Sancho has not featured for United since October's 1-1 draw against Chelsea due to "circumstances with fitness and mood".

Meanwhile, Martial's last appearance came in the victory over Manchester City at Old Trafford earlier this month when he was withdrawn at half-time.

The pair are back available for United ahead of Wednesday's clash at Old Trafford, where the hosts lead 3-0 from last week's first leg.

"We have some issues," Ten Hag told club media on Tuesday.

"I think tomorrow that Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho will return in the game squad, but Scott McTominay will still be absent.

"I think also the next game [against Crystal Palace] he will be absent. We have to see how that process will go. And for the rest, I think everyone is fit."

Already having one foot in the EFL Cup final at Wembley, United will pay close attention to Tuesday's contest between Newcastle United and Southampton to discover their potential opponents.

United last won the EFL Cup in 2016-17 under Jose Mourinho, a season where the Europa League was also won and a campaign that represents the last time the club won a trophy.

Erik ten Hag changed his tone and declared he was happy with Manchester United's overall defending this season, despite criticising his team after their 3-2 loss to Arsenal.

United fell 11 points behind the Gunners in the race for the Premier League title, with Eddie Nketiah scoring a late winner at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

After that game, Ten Hag said United's defensive failings had been "unacceptable".

Speaking ahead of an EFL Cup semi-final first leg against Nottingham Forest, Ten Hag explained he was talking about defending of the goals specifically and is otherwise pleased with his team's efforts at the back, although there are lessons to be taken on board.

"I think in a lot of games we defended very well, we had a lot of clean sheets," Ten Hag said.

"Against Man City [in United's recent 2-1 win at Old Trafford], we defended very well. I think, in general, also against Arsenal, we defended well.

"I don't think they had many clean shots, I think the one time was from a free-kick. But the rest were shots from distance, when we had a lot of defenders in between the ball and the goal.

"That's what I meant when I said all the goals were avoidable and it can't happen. That was my point: when you concede three goals in a top game, it is very hard to win the game.

"That is what happened so that is one of the conclusions. It can't happen. We set that conclusion... we have to learn and take this lesson."

Ten Hag – who ruled Diogo Dalot, Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial out of the Forest game – also spoke about the importance of winning trophies, with United hoping to end a run without one since May 2017.

The 52-year-old won three Eredivisie titles, two KNVB Cups and a Johan Cruyff Shield in his time in charge of Ajax, and said: "It's about that, it's about winning trophies.

"We have a good opportunity, but we have to go from game to game. So now we play Forest, two legs, so focus on the first leg and don't think further ahead because that will distract. So the aim for tomorrow is to win that game.

“It is the best feeling you can have, winning a trophy. I had the luck in my career to win some trophies and it was magnificent, especially for the fans. It's so great.

“The fans here, they have some experience, especially the older fans. And now it's a period when Manchester United didn't win any trophies and it's too long ago, so we are aware of that fact. We have to do everything to bring a trophy in."

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag commended Bruno Fernandes for his mastery of an unorthodox role in Saturday's derby win as the Red Devils look to build on their momentum against Crystal Palace.

Fernandes scored the controversial equaliser against Manchester City at Old Trafford and was named Player of the Match for his tireless performance.

Although usually deployed in a central role, Fernandes spent much of the game out wide, tracking back to help Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the first half before switching to the left after Anthony Martial's half-time withdrawal.

Fernandes was also tasked with looking for early passes over the City defence, and this tactic helped United create a couple of openings in the first 45.

The Portugal midfielder will likely return to a more familiar position for Wednesday's trip to Selhurst Park, but Ten Hag was keen to acknowledge the effectiveness of Fernandes in what was a statement victory.

"The idea was with Bruno on the right wing, especially when defending," he said. "I think we defended as usual, but in possession [Fernandes] had a role to come in between the lines, to bring an extra player there, to bring the opponent problems and hesitation and confusion.

"He played the role really brilliant, on the right and on the left. I think the rest of the team adapted good to the situation.

"We had really good breaks by finding the free man, and Bruno was important in that role, and he was important in pressing as well.

"I didn't know he was Man of the Match, but he was my Man of the Match, definitely."

Beating City lifted United to within a point of the defending champions, with the win leaving many to declare Ten Hag's side as genuine title challengers.

The gravity of the result was not lost on Ten Hag, who was adamant the team needed to be allowed to celebrate it.

"Every win you have to celebrate," Ten Hag continued. "You work so hard for such momentum, and every win that is so great in top football, you can't not celebrate. You kill the energy [if you do not celebrate].

"We have to celebrate, but after we settle down after 24 hours. We move on to the next game, and to get in the right rhythm. Every third day we have to deliver, and the players have to get in right rhythm, physically and mentally, to be ready for the next game."

One player who would appear to be a doubt is Martial, who could only manage 45 minutes on Saturday.

However, Ten Hag suggested his withdrawal was about preventing injury rather than being a response to a new problem.

He added: "I hoped to avoid him getting injured. He was complaining, that's why he also didn't train in the week, he was a question mark.

"We decided, and he did as well, that he was also able to start, because I knew to start in this game was so important, especially because he's so good in pressing, he's a big element in our pressing, and he did that really well before half-time, but he was not able to go 100 per cent and that's what you need.

"To avoid getting injured, we took him off, but it had an impact on our game, a negative impact after half-time."

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag confirmed Wout Weghorst is close to joining the club but will not sign in time to feature in Saturday's derby.

United have been on the hunt for a new striker ever since Cristiano Ronaldo's acrimonious exit in November, with the Portugal forward having his contract terminated after an explosive interview.

Over the past week or so, Weghorst – who is on loan at Besiktas from Burnley – emerged as a likely candidate to fill the void until the end of the season.

Reports on Thursday suggested United reached an agreement to pay Besiktas £2.5million (€3m) to take over their loan arrangement with Weghorst, who has scored eight Super Lig goals in 16 games this season.

Some supporters have been indifferent about the prospect of signing a player who netted just twice in 20 Premier League games last term as Burnley were relegated, but a deal is seemingly near – just not close enough for him to face Manchester City this weekend.

Speaking to reporters about the rumours on Friday, Ten Hag said: "I think we are close, so he will not be available for tomorrow, no."

But with United unable to get a deal for Weghorst over the line sooner, they could once again see their options at centre-forward limited for the visit of City.

Anthony Martial has been plagued by injuries this season and is struggling with another issue, leaving Ten Hag unsure of his availability for the match.

Asked to provide general fitness updates, the manager added: "[Diogo] Dalot is not available, and Martial trained this morning, so we wait to see how he recovered and if he's available. That will be decided tomorrow.

"It's a small thing, in his leg, so I will be [waiting for] tomorrow, otherwise he'll be available for Wednesday, I think."

United are somewhat stretched in the attacking department, with Martial proving unreliable in terms of fitness and Jadon Sancho still absent after being granted time away to improve his mental sharpness.

But Ten Hag is not panicking, pointing out United have done well without Martial and Weghorst in recent weeks.

"Weghorst wasn't available in the last weeks, so it would be a bonus if he was [able to face City]," Ten Hag said. "I hope soon he will be there.

"But also we have had a month of winning a lot of games without Anthony Martial."

United welcome City to Old Trafford looking to avenge a 6-3 defeat in October. Victory for the Red Devils will see them move to within a point of the champions.

Erik ten Hag was convinced Marcus Rashford would react the right way to his manager's risky decision to bench him following his late arrival to a meeting.

Rashford was left out of Ten Hag's starting line-up for Manchester United's away match with Wolves on December 31 for disciplinary reasons, with it later revealed Rashford had overslept and turned up late to a team meeting.

Ten Hag brought on Rashford with the game goalless at Molineux at half-time, to great effect too as the forward netted the winner.

Rashford then went on to score in the following two games, a 3-0 Premier League victory over Bournemouth and a 3-1 FA Cup success against Everton.

Ten Hag believes dropping Rashford was necessary to set the standard he wants, though he added he was confident the 25-year-old would react in the positive way he has done.

"Maybe it's a risk," Ten Hag told reporters. "But if you want to develop something, if you want to create a winning attitude or winning culture, you have to go this way, in my opinion.

"If you allow them to be undisciplined, if they don't match the standards, and values and rules we set together as a team, that the staff place in the dressing room, then it will come back.

"That will blow up in your face on the pitch, because then also on the pitch, they will not act with discipline, what is necessary to win games, it's about top football. So it's about big responsibilities.

"If it's the right human beings who have the right characters, they will react like this. And so, in relation to Marcus, I was quite convinced."

Rashford's goal against Everton on Friday means he has now scored in five straight games, while he became the first United player to net in seven straight home matches in all competitions since Wayne Rooney in 2012.

Despite Rashford's impressive goalscoring run, United are in the market for another striker, with Anthony Martial in and out of the team with injuries so far this season.

"There is a reason, because he [Martial] can't match in this moment the load for many games," Ten Hag added. "That's why we are looking for another striker.

"It is not about that we don't rely on him [Rashford], but it is a physical load that is not in this moment so high that he can't play every third game of every third day, a game of 90 minutes. I have to manage that together with him." 

Although he has been open about United's search for another striker in the January transfer window, Ten Hag is confident in his existing players' ability to put the ball in the net, saying: "Today, Antony scored a goal and we know, Bruno Fernandes is also very capable of scoring a goal.

"Christian Eriksen will create and is capable of scoring. So we have more players who can score goals."

The victory over Everton was United's seventh in a row in all competitions, but Ten Hag is keeping a watchful eye over his players to ensure they do not let complacency creep in.

"You have to be watchful for this," Ten Hag stated. "We have to keep this focus and this concentration we have to work well.

"When we go to games, we have to start with the right attitude. When you don't, the level of the Premier League is that high, you get hammered."

Erik ten Hag insists Manchester United will not be "burning money" on bringing in the wrong striker in January.

After a tough start to life as Red Devils manager, Ten Hag's team have been much improved of late and currently sit fourth in the Premier League after three straight league victories, despite being short of options up front.

Cristiano Ronaldo was in and out of the team before his bombshell interview with Piers Morgan led to his contract being mutually terminated, while Anthony Martial has struggled with injuries.

But despite the need for a centre-forward to help United's Champions League qualification bid, Ten Hag feels United must avoid the mistakes of the past by wasting finances on the wrong striker.

"You need one who can have an impact otherwise you are just burning money," Ten Hag told reporters. "You don't strengthen the squad and it doesn't help you.

"We have a good team when all are available. We have [a striker], Anthony Martial, I'm really happy with his performances across many games.

"He has had a really good impact. If you see his minutes and the impact he has had it's been huge."

One suggestion for United to boost their attacking ranks has been to recall Amad Diallo, who has scored six goals in 19 matches on loan at Championship side Sunderland.

But Ten Hag is reluctant to bring Diallo back to Old Trafford early, believing it would be wrong to stunt the progress the Ivory Coast international is making with the Black Cats.

"We consider everything. I have a little reservation because I don't want to stop the process, he is making good progress there," Ten Hag added. "Young players need experiences.

"When we decide [he needs] to come back he has to be a player who can compete for the starting 11 or at a minimum of coming on for a lot of games to have an impact."

Erik ten Hag was not entirely satisfied with Manchester United's finishing despite comfortably seeing off Nottingham Forest 3-0 at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

United returned to Premier League action following the World Cup and ultimately cruised to a straightforward victory that leaves them just a point behind fourth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand.

First-half goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial sent United on their way before Fred rounded things off in the final minutes.

But United wasted several decent opportunities before Fred's Casemiro-inspired goal, with Antony and Rashford spurning particularly good chances.

And that proved to be a key area of focus for Ten Hag after the game.

"It's what I said in the dressing room, we have to score more goals," he told Prime Video.

"We created so many chances and it takes us until just before the end to score the third goal. We need to finish this game in an earlier moment.

"Just after half-time we had two really good chances to finish the game. Life would be more easy.

"There are many games to come, [if you get a third goal then] you can then save energy and it is better for everyone, but also for the progress of the team, we need to be more clinical.

"We have players who can score.

"You can see Martial and Rashford are goalscorers; Bruno Fernandes scores goals. We have a lot of players who can score, but we have to be ruthless."

Ten Hag has already confirmed United are keen to bring in attacking reinforcements during the January transfer window following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.

PSV forward Cody Gakpo was widely considered the most likely to arrive but it emerged on Monday that the Netherlands international is close to joining Liverpool after the two clubs agreed a fee.

Ten Hag was asked about Liverpool's move for Gakpo, though he was unsurprisingly keen to avoid speaking about his compatriot.

"I don't talk about individual cases," he said.

"We are looking for offensive players, we are looking for a striker. It would be good because we have games coming, so many, every third day, and it's tough.

"You want to play in all the competitions we are in, we want to stay in them hopefully until the end of the season, so you need numbers in the squad to cover them all.

"I think we are always in the market, but it has to match the sporting criteria and the financial criteria, and we do what we can to bring in what we need."

While the Red Devils appear to have missed out on Gakpo, the August arrival of Casemiro proves United retain the ability to attract the best in the world.

The Brazil international was central to Tuesday's win, brilliantly winning the ball back near his own corner flag in the build-up to United's second goal before also inspiring Fred's clincher.

Those two incidents fitted into the wider narrative of his all-round brilliance in midfield as he recorded a joint-high three key passes, attempted more tackles than anyone else (five) and was engaged in the most duels (11).

For Ten Hag, Casemiro is a blessing.

"I can't deny that, I can only confirm," Ten Hag replied when Casemiro's importance was highlighted by a pundit. "It's a pleasure to work with him.

"I think everyone can see how important he is. The performance, the level he brings to the team is huge."

Marcus Rashford was the inspiration as Manchester United beat Nottingham Forest 3-0 at Old Trafford on Tuesday in their first Premier League game since the World Cup break.

Rashford played a starring role in the EFL Cup defeat of Burnley last week and was again United's standout performer as they moved to within a point of fourth-placed Tottenham.

The England forward opened the scoring for a dominant United with a goal straight off the training ground before setting up Anthony Martial.

Forest had a goal wiped out just before the break, but it was not a precursor to United coming under greater scrutiny in the second period as they coasted before adding a late third through substitute Fred.

Erik ten Hag was forced to pick a somewhat unfamiliar backline due to illness, with Luke Shaw at centre-back.

But there was no sign of that inhibiting United, and they were deservedly ahead before long, with Rashford providing a wonderfully deft finish from Christian Eriksen's smart corner delivery.

Rashford was key again as United made it 2-0 three minutes later, latching on to Bruno Fernandes' clever pass and teeing up Martial to beat the unconvincing Wayne Hennessey at the end of a counter-attack that stemmed from Casemiro's brilliant recovery.

Willy Boly deflected Ryan Yates' header in on the stroke of half-time, only for the goal to be disallowed for offside.

United should have taken advantage of that let-off early in the second half when Antony spurned a glorious opportunity with only Hennessey to beat.

Rashford also wasted a good chance when scuffing substitute Donny van de Beek's cut-back, but United put the game beyond Forest late on as Casemiro won the ball back, surged into the final third and found Fred for an easy finish.

What does it mean? Red Devils looking free without Cristiano Ronaldo

The mid-World Cup announcement of Ronaldo's exit was generally greeted favourably by United fans, with the Portugal striker resembling a square peg in a round hole in the first part of the season.

While Burnley and Forest may not be the greatest of opponents, United have looked fluid and unshackled going forward with Ronaldo not there to hold them back.

They should have scored more than they did on Tuesday, but there was always a sense they could have cranked things up a notch if needed – that ultimately was not a necessity as they comfortably saw off a mediocre Forest side.

Casemiro shows his class

Rashford will dominate the headlines, but this was a masterclass from Casemiro. He played a crucial role in United's second when winning the ball back near his own corner flag; then he did similar and provided the assist for their third. He was imperious.

Antony a source of frustration

Although he has chipped in with a few goals, United fans are still waiting for Antony to really explode. That certainly did not occur here.

His decision-making was largely poor. He failed to tally a single key pass and wasted a tremendous chance in the second half before being withdrawn.

What's next?

United go to Wolves on Saturday, while Forest are home to Chelsea the following day.

Anthony Martial thinks Manchester United have plenty of reason for optimism ahead of the second half of the season, praising the "great dynamic" instilled by Erik ten Hag.

The Red Devils have enjoyed something of a resurgence under the Dutchman following a dismal 2021-22 campaign, mounting a charge for the top four once again.

With a quarter-final berth in the EFL Cup secured, United next face Nottingham Forest on Tuesday as they resume their Premier League season following the break for the World Cup in Qatar.

Martial, who has been limited by injury so far but nevertheless has picked up four goals in eight games, certainly believes there is cause to believe the club can succeed this term under Ten Hag.

"Why not?" he told MUTV. "We've [got] a very good team of players, with a great dynamic about us and lots of victories under our belt.

"We now just to have keep on [with] those winning ways we have shown in these recent matches.

"There has been some time for rest, so we hope we will return in good shape for the challenges ahead, and to win all the matches we can."

While several members of United's squad - including the central defensive trio of Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez and Harry Maguire - enjoyed deep World Cup runs, Martial was absent after France passed him over.

But the forward feels those left behind have used their time wisely to ensure they can hit the ground running as 2023 comes around the corner.

"We've put in a lot of good work, and it has been a bit like a pre-season for us," he added. "We've worked on fitness training and getting into top shape physically, and I've benefited a lot from that personally."

Bastian Schweinsteiger believes Anthony Martial can become one of Manchester United's "best players" with confidence and the right guidance.

Despite sustaining a hamstring injury during pre-season, Martial has registered four goals and two assists in seven appearances this term.

The forward will hope to feature when United to return to action against Burnley in the EFL Cup on Wednesday.

Schweinsteiger played alongside Martial at Old Trafford for just under two seasons, the latter marking his debut with a stunning individual goal in a 3-1 victory over Liverpool in September 2015.

The former Germany international is confident the 27-year-old can shine under Erik ten Hag. 

"His potential is immense," Schweinsteiger told MUTV. "I remember very well when he arrived at United, and he scored the goal against Liverpool in a special way.

"With him, you need to give him confidence. But you also need to push him sometimes, and then he can be one of the best players.

"But he has to understand that first, and that’s the job of the coaches and also the team-mates.

"If you play with someone like him, you want to see the quality of this player all the time. You expect it because you know what this player is able to do.

"When I played with him, my goal was always to put him in the right position with the ball. So, to give him the ball in the right moments where he can show his abilities the most.

"Like one against one, one against two, with the ball, facing the opponents' goal.

"They are the moments he [is] waiting for, and then he's actually producing. At the end of the day, what matters for him is goals and assists."

Erik ten Hag revealed Manchester United will target a striker to replace Cristiano Ronaldo in the January transfer window.

Ronaldo acrimoniously exited Old Trafford last month following an explosive interview, in which he criticised boss Ten Hag and the club's owners.

United have been linked with moves for Cody Gakpo and Goncalo Ramos - both of whom scored three goals at the World Cup for the Netherlands and Portugal respectively.

Ten Hag says the Red Devils are on the hunt for a centre forward, but the Dutchman would not reveal the identity of their targets.

When asked whether United were on the lookout for a striker, the Dutchman replied: "Yes, but only when we find the right player. We do everything in our power.

"We are doing research on every opportunity, and we do everything we can if that opportunity is there to contract them.

"I cannot give comments on specific players. I will never do that. Players have contracts and I respect that, but make sure we are working in the background to get the right players in."

Meanwhile, Ten Hag has been encouraged by Anthony Martial who, despite sustaining a hamstring injury during pre-season, has registered four goals and two assists in seven appearances this term.

"We have seen, when he is available, he has a massive impact on our game," said Ten Hag.

"He has less than 300 minutes [this season] and has four goals and two assists. That's a really good record.

"The first challenge for him is to be available and fit. He has to be responsible for it, but we have to support him in all the ways we can."

Manchester United twice came from behind to seal a thrilling 4-2 win over Aston Villa in the EFL Cup, avenging Sunday's Premier League defeat to Unai Emery's men.

With Erik ten Hag resting several key players and Cristiano Ronaldo absent through illness at Old Trafford, United fell behind through Ollie Watkins' well-taken finish at the start of a frantic second half, though Anthony Martial swiftly levelled.

United then went 2-1 down when Diogo Dalot put into his own net, but Marcus Rashford's strike set up a grandstand finish.

Fernandes saw an effort deflect off Tyrone Mings before nestling in the top-left corner and McTominay finished the visitors off to ensure United advanced to the fourth round following a back-and-forth encounter.

Erik ten Hag believes Cristiano Ronaldo can return to the level he reached last season for Manchester United if he wants.

Ronaldo scored only his third goal of the campaign on Thursday, a header that wrapped up a comfortable 3-0 Europa League win over Sheriff.

Ten Hag restored Ronaldo to his starting XI after dropping the 37-year-old for last weekend's trip to Chelsea as punishment for refusing to come on as a substitute against Tottenham.

Ronaldo was United's top scorer with 24 goals across all competitions last season but has found himself behind Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial – when fit – this term.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner is only averaging a goal every 260 minutes across all competitions, his worst such record since 2005-06 (one every 284 minutes).

Despite Ronaldo's misdemeanours under Ten Hag, the Dutchman has routinely talked up the striker's importance.

But he feels it is on Ronaldo to prove he can still be as productive as last season.

Speaking to reporters ahead of Sunday's visit of West Ham, Ten Hag said: "It's up to him, but I think when you collect all the chances he creates, the team creates for him, in the last weeks I've been here, you see he is still capable to get into the right positions.

"I know he's capable of finishing that. So, it's possible."

Indeed, finding openings has not been a problem for Ronaldo. Only Rashford (6.3) has a better expected goals (xG) tally in the United squad than Ronaldo (5.6), but the latter leads the way for xG per 90 minutes (0.65).

Granted, much of Ronaldo's football this term has been against seemingly lesser opposition in the Europa League, but the fact remains: he has had chances, the problem is his inability to take them, perhaps a by-product of the veteran not having much of a pre-season.

Ten Hag liked what he saw when Ronaldo and Rashford worked in tandem during the second half against Sheriff, however, hinting he sees a way of fitting both forwards into the team on a more regular basis.

"I think [against Sheriff] with Cristiano and Marcus in the attack, that worked very well. I was happy about that," the manager said.

The prolonged absence of Martial will help Ronaldo's bid for regular football and Ten Hag could not guarantee the Frenchman will be back before the break for the World Cup, though he is optimistic.

"I hope," Ten Hag said of Martial, who has scored three goals in just 133 minutes of action this term.

"He is making progress. He is outside and he's working there. So, we are waiting for his step back in team training."

Clearly, Ten Hag would regard Martial's return to be a major boost after showing highly promising flashes during his limited time on the pitch this term.

"The setback was that he fell against Everton with his back, so we had some injuries which were really frustrating for us but also for him, and we have seen him play really good in pre-season," Ten Hag said.

"He has already scored three goals, yet in Everton he also had an important role with the first goal, his assist to Antony.

"So it would be really good to have him back because he can make a difference, he can score goals, but also in linking up he is really important, and the pressing from him is really good."

Erik ten Hag did not take issue with Cristiano Ronaldo's reaction to being substituted against Newcastle United but will not commit to starting the forward when Manchester United host Tottenham.

Ronaldo made just his second Premier League start of the season in Sunday's 0-0 draw with the Magpies but was replaced by Marcus Rashford after having two second-half goals disallowed.

The Portugal great reacted angrily to his 72nd-minute withdrawal and was seen shaking his head after taking his place in the dugout.

However, speaking at a news conference ahead of Wednesday's clash with Spurs, Ten Hag said Ronaldo's drive was crucial to his success.

"I think no player is happy when he comes off, especially not Ronaldo, I understand that," Ten Hag said. "As long as it is in quite a normal way, I have no problem with that.

"Of course, he is convinced he should stay on and score a goal, that's why he is that good."

Ronaldo claimed a hat-trick as United beat Tottenham 3-2 when the teams met at Old Trafford in March and has scored more Premier League goals against Spurs (eight) than he has against any other side.

However, Ten Hag said last season's treble did not mean Ronaldo was a certainty to start, adding: "I know of it [March's hat-trick], and of course, when you make a line-up you count on several facts, but also other facts you take out of [your thinking]."

Ronaldo looks more likely to appear in Ten Hag's line-up after Anthony Martial was ruled out of Wednesday's match, although United could be boosted by the return of Christian Eriksen. 

"Anthony Martial is not available. He is back on the pitch, but not in team training," Ten Hag added.

"Christian Eriksen returned to team training today. We have to see how that works out, how he will recover, and if he has the energy tomorrow. We have to wait for that."

United have won each of their last three Premier League games against Tottenham, who last lost four consecutive league meetings with the Red Devils between April 2009 and October 2010.

Meanwhile, Spurs have lost more Premier League games against the Red Devils than they have versus any other opponent (38), and head coach Antonio Conte has suffered three defeats in as many trips to United – against no club has the Italian lost more away games in his career.

Erik ten Hag says Marcus Rashford is still "on a really good run" despite consecutive blanks and backed the Manchester United forward to get back on the scoresheet against Newcastle United this weekend.

The forward has been in superb form since United kick-started their season under the Dutchman, and netted twice in last week's Europa League win over Omonia Nicosia.

But the attacker failed to find the back of the net in both of their subsequent games, coming away empty-handed against Everton in the Premier League and then again in the return European fixture against the Cypriot outfit.

Ten Hag, however, is unconcerned by the mini-drought and tipped Rashford, who is eyeing a recall to the England fold in time for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, to return to form.

"Sometimes, it is the game," he said. "It just isn't your night, but it can change in another game. He is on a really good run. Maybe he's saving it for the coming week.

"He knows that he has to be more clinical, that he has to score a goal. When you have such good movements, when you make such good combinations, you have to finish."

Ten Hag also touched on the injury situations of Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire, revealing the former could feature against the Magpies, while the latter will likely return to full team training next week.

The former, back in the United fold after a lacklustre loan spell with Sevilla last season, has impressed on his limited appearances this term, with three goals and two assists in four games, but Ten Hag still wants to see more.

"We have seen [his skill] from his dribble capabilities, his speed, his finishing," he added. "Now, he has to work on more variation. He is a player who can adapt quickly to a high level.

"He likes challenges. Every game is a challenge, and he'll make the best out of it. I think there is a lot of space for improvement, but he is already really good."

Page 2 of 9
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.