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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Erik ten Hag eyes ‘best feeling’ and sends message to Manchester United players

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Erik ten Hag has told Manchester United that winning silverware is the best feeling in football and that it is time they ended their six-year trophy drought.

United face Nottingham Forest in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final on Wednesday with Ten Hag determined the club win a major honour for the first time since the 2017 Europa League.

Since then, United have lost two finals and four semi-finals while Ten Hag won six trophies with Ajax and now he sees the Carabao Cup as a potential springboard for further success.

And the Dutchman said: “It’s the best feeling you can have, winning a trophy. I have the luck in my career to win some trophies and it’s magnificent, especially for the fans, it’s so great. I think the fans here have some experience, especially the older ones, in this period Manchester United didn’t win trophies is too long. We are aware of that fact and we have to do it again.

“In January you don’t win trophies. In February you can win one. We have to aim for that and go for that. It’s more about getting in the right positions in April to go for [more] trophies.”

Ten Hag said United had consigned the disappointment of defeat to Arsenal on Sunday to the past, adding: “We left it behind and we said the right conclusions then. We have to move forward and quickly because Wednesday is a big game and [we have to] focus on that.”

United will still be without Anthony Martial, Jadon Sancho and Diogo Dalot in Nottingham, though Casemiro will be available after serving a one-match suspension.

It is United’s first game at the City Ground since 1999, when Ten Hag’s predecessor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored four times as a substitute in an 8-1 win.

He said: “It’s a long time ago United played there. I think we like that. When a fantastic audience is nice to play for, it will be a good atmosphere and I think it will motivate the players and we have to get ready for that.”

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