Erik ten Hag reacts to Carabao Cup victory and looking ahead to FA Cup clash

Erik ten Hag has Manchester United straight back to business after winning the Carabao Cup final on Sunday.

The Dutchman secured silverware just six months into his tenure – a perfect testament to the instant impact he has had on a once-deflated United side.

United saw out a 2-0 win against Newcastle at Wembley Stadium and went onto lift the cup in front of their faithful travelling supporters. The game also saw a six-year trophy drought reach its end.

After the final, Ten Hag had his players board a flight back home to Manchester by 10.15pm, and train the next day in preparation for Wednesday’s meeting with West Ham.

The FA Cup provides another chance for the team to win something big, and they will certainly be one of the major favourites if they can progress past the Irons.

Ten Hag’s pre-match press conference

Ten Hag held a pre-match press conference this afternoon, here’s all he had to say via the club website.

“Hi Erik, congratulations for Sunday, you’ve obviously got a busy schedule coming up, have you had any chance to celebrate? Any chance to take stock, beyond what we saw at Wembley?

“No, nothing beyond. [We] get back to work.

“You’ve changed the culture of the group, from the way they speak and the way they seem to be leaders on the field – has it actually been quite easy to get them to refocus? Because this hasn’t been something they’ve done, they’ve not won a trophy for six years, but they seem to be just getting on and back into it…

Of course, yesterday, the players were still enthusiastic, and they had to celebrate this momentum, but yesterday, after we settled down, we get back to work. What we had to do was recovery and the ones who played less did a good training session.

“The team that started on Sunday obviously started, but the ones who didn’t, people like Maguire and Lindelof, are they going to be important in periods like this? Because clearly there was a lot of energy expended against Barcelona, against Newcastle, but this is a big game as well and you do want to keep the momentum going…

“Let’s make myself clear, we didn’t win with 11 players, we did win with a squad, and I think the squad is already, the whole season, so important. Every time players are coming in [to play], if it’s for the whole game, for minutes or a couple of games, I think also during games we can change the dynamics.

“We do it with many more than 11 players, so I count on them, and I know they will be ready because every time players play games, they take responsibility and it’s about that. Take responsibility, but also you have to fight for your position. We have great months ahead of us, also great games and I think everyone wants to play games. The players who form the best teams will play. Also, for Maguire, when he plays well, he can come into the team.

“It does feel like Maguire, because he’s an England international and the captain of the team, people like myself focus on him, but it does seem as though he was part of the celebration and it feels as though there’s a collective spirit within the group rather than just individuals looking at it and thinking: ‘I’m not playing, I’m not happy’…

“It was not my perspective from the celebrations, I think everyone was involved and everyone was happy. Everyone had the idea, we did it collectively and not individual or one, two, three players did this. It was the performance of the whole team, of the whole squad.

“I wanted to ask about team news, the players are obviously mentally ready by the sounds of things but how are they physically? But will Anthony Martial be ready for tomorrow? And if not, when can we expect to see him?

“Anthony Martial is not available and Luke Shaw and Fred are questions for tomorrow.”

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