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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Man Utd boss Ten Hag gives Martinez update and responds to mission

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Man Utd’s next six Premier League fixtures Invalid emailWe use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More infoManchester United boss Erik ten Hag has admitted he’s unsure when Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez will return to action. Both players featured in Sunday’s World Cup final, with Argentina beating France on penalties. And the Dutchman has also responded to the Glazers’ mission of steering the club back into the Champions League at the first time of asking, too.Manchester United have seen Martinez and Varane impress when deployed together so far this season.And both players were key for Argentina and France respectively as they made the World Cup final in Qatar last week.The pair were absent on Wednesday night as United breezed past Burnley in the Carabao Cup, with Casemiro and Victor Lindelof starting that fixture at centre-back instead.And Ten Hag has now confirmed he’s unsure when his first-choice centre-back duo will return, saying: “I don’t know, I can’t answer.“Lisandro is still celebrating in Argentina. I can understand that it’s very emotional.Man Utd transfers: Ten Hag is going to sign his own Haaland Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag is unsure when Lisandro Martinez will return (Image: GETTY)“Winning the World Cup for your country is the highest you can be, but also he has to accept that on December 27, the Premier League comes back.“Varane, of course, is disappointed, but he can also be proud of being in the final and all that he has achieved in his career already is massive.“To win so many trophies, he can still be proud. Getting to the final is a massive achievement. His nation were so close.”This season, United will be aiming to return to the Champions League having finished sixth in the table last term.The Glazers have set Ten Hag the mission of achieving that and backed him with six signings back in the summer.DON’T MISS Barcelona have De Jong to Man Utd transfer beliefDe Jong makes decision on leaving Barcelona in JanuaryThree strikers Ten Hag prefers to Felix for Man Utd Man Utd duo Erik ten Hag and Lisandro Martinez want trophies this season (Image: GETTY)And Ten Hag has acknowledged the pressure on his shoulders, with the 52-year-old also insisting he’s got what it takes to succeed at Old Trafford.“I accept how it is, I accept that pressure,” said the Dutchman.“But also for the manager of Chelsea, of Newcastle United, those clubs who have invested a lot in their squad.“It’s big pressure for all of us to get into the top four. We want to be in the top four and fighting for trophies. That’s our aim.“We’re aware the competition is tough, but that also counts for the seven or eight clubs fighting for the top four.Want the latest football news? Join our brand new Facebook group by clicking here Man Utd star Lisandro Martinez recently won the World Cup with Argentina (Image: GETTY)“For anyone watching the Premier League, it’s great for them, it’s very exciting for them. I’m looking at a process of how we are performing.“Of course, we have to get the results as well, but the process is right, we’re making progress and I think we have a good opportunity and a good chance to make that top four.”Ten Hag doesn’t want any hangovers from the World Cup, either, and says United have planned ahead as they welcome their players back into the fold.“We have a plan,” he stated. “It’s all individual based. No-one is the same or has the same programme or minutes. It depends on the positions and the age of the players.“We all know the restart was five or six days after the World Cup final. Everyone has to be ready and accept it. Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag is hoping to achieve the Glazers’ mission this term (Image: GETTY)“The manager and coaching staff of course, but also the players – they have to accept it. They want trophies.“We spoke about the tough competition and we have to be ready for it and deal with it, do it smart and hopefully get the right performance and results.”United will face off against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday at Old Trafford.They won their last league match before the World Cup 2-1 before the international break, with Alejandro Garnacho netting a late winner against Fulham. 

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