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  • Sports - Football - Gossips
  • Updated: May 25, 2024

FA Cup: My job long-term project not quick fix — Erik ten Hag

FA Cup: My job long-term project not quick fix — Erik ten

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has reiterated that his job at the club should be considered a long-term project rather than a quick fix thereby staving off talks about a possible sack by the club hierarchy.

Heading into Saturday's Emirates FA Cup final at Wembley where his side defeated Manchester City to ensure that they will be in the UEFA Europa League next season despite finishing in a disappointing 8th place in the league, reports in the media were awash of a likely sack by the club owners. 

However, the United stars stood up to the challenge and defeated Pep Guardiola's side.

Youngsters Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo were the scorers and the passionate hug Erik ten Hag gave the duo at the final whistle might have said what is to come. 

Erik ten Hag responded to questions at his post-match press conference Saturday evening

"I don’t know. The only thing I’m doing is preparing my team, developing my team. This is a project for me. When I came in I can say it was a mess. Now we are better. We are not where we want to be.

"Football is about winning trophies. I want to play the best football, dynamic, attacking football but in the end, you have to win games and trophies. That’s the mentality we brought in. This was our one opportunity and we did it. I‘m very proud of the players and staff."

Speaking on the performance of Kobbie Mainoo which was capped by his goal, Erik ten Hag added: "He was really so enjoyable to watch. At his age. He’s an example. We wanted him to come in and he got a bad injury in pre-season."

"I think we have to keep it calm. Here in England, you’re very good to push players too high and then you hammer them with one or two bad performances."

The Dutchman then gave a general assessment of the players' contributions. 

"All compliments to the team. We played very good to our identity. Very strong. You have seen how we can play when we have the players on board. Some were not even match fit but the performance was very good.

"I tell you [media] this all year - when the players are fit we can play good football. A very good performance against the best team in the world.

"With a local rivalry, it’s there and it’s much more important when you play a team from your own city. But for us it wasn’t about this, it was to prove a point after so many setbacks. The team showed so much resilience and I’m proud of them."

On if criticism of his team has been unfair, the former Ajax head coach spoke in the affirmative: "I think so. The team. Me as well. It was not right.

"But we didn’t have the players. We have seen the same things, not always good football - definitely not - but we had to make compromises all the time and then you can’t play the football you want to play.

"I had maybe three or four times in two years we had the full squad available. Even today we were missing massive players like Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Casemiro."

United will join Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United as English representatives in next year's UEFA Europa League while Chelsea will play in the Conference League.

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