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‘On the pitch, I've never had my favourite team’ Ten Hag


Erik Ten Hag is indifferent to how his Manchester United tenure is seen by the public, as he attributes the lack of a fully fit squad to the team's inability to field a full-strength line-up in just one out of 106 matches.


Ten Hag, with his sights set on his second consecutive FA Cup semi-final, is ready to lead United against Coventry, a team from the Championship, at Wembley this Sunday. Despite currently sitting in seventh place in the league, Manchester United's hopes for a trophy this season rest on the FA Cup. The Dutchman, who guided United to the final last season only to be defeated by Manchester City, is now more determined than ever to surpass that achievement in the coming year.


When asked about the potential bias in the criticism United receives, Ten Hag confidently stated, "I am indifferent to whether I am judged impartially or not. My focus is on our actions and the purpose of my presence here - to achieve success, win trophies, and generate economic value." His unwavering focus on the task at hand is a testament to his leadership.


"During a process, setbacks are inevitable, and I can perceive them realistically." I long for that subtlety in the comments but am not concerned enough to pay attention to it. I am unable to connect with the emotions associated with it. I approach the situation with rationality and only emphasise enhancing my team's performance and the development of individual team members. I am here for that reason.


Ten Hag is more concerned about the frequency of injuries that have occurred under his leadership. United will be without seven key players, and Harry Maguire's availability for the match against Coventry is still being determined. However, Scott McTominay and Antony are expected to return after being absent from the draw against Bournemouth.


"I am not concerned about external opinions," Ten Hag said. "I am worried because, in the past 18 months, my favourite team has never played a single match due to player injuries - this worries me." Indeed, one instance occurred during the previous season when we played versus City at home. "That was the sole occasion when I had a complete group of players available to select my entire team."


In the January 2023 starting lineup versus City, as mentioned by Ten Hag, were Tyrell Malacia, who has been sidelined due to injury for the whole season, Anthony Martial, who has not played a match since 9 December, and Luke Shaw and Raphaël Varane, who are now unavailable as well.


"We have had to address the injury aspect in all the other games," Ten Hag said. "That is a common occurrence in football, although the number of incidents we have experienced is unusually high." Furthermore, I am aware that it becomes impossible to achieve the desired outcomes when we have had several injuries in pivotal vital positions. That is OK, but that is my perspective. Others may have alternative perspectives, but I choose not to invest any effort into considering them.

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