Erik ten Hag exclusive matchday Q and A before Man City derby 2 October 2022


How was your international break? Did you get some well-earned rest? You’ve been working so hard…
“Yeah, it’s always two things in the international break: it was long because we missed two Premier League games as well, but you can work how you cannot during the season because you go from game to game, so you work on strategies. But also, on the other side, there is time for relaxation, but you work on strategies, next games, now it comes in a block for us from October to November and there are many challenges, but we have to prepare really well, and I think we did. So, we are ready for it.”

There were actually loads of positives to take from the recent internationals, for example, goals for four of the players including Luke Shaw and Diogo Dalot. So, do you notice those kind of players coming back with a spring in their steps after playing for their countries?
“Yes, I think so the most. But also, there were some setbacks, Portugal [lost] two or three minutes before [the final whistle v Spain], they lost the final position, but I think, in general, the teams but also our individual players had successful Nations League performances. We are happy with it but also it reflects the work we are doing at Man United in this moment because the players are in the right form. That’s good to know and that belief, we have to take that with us, starting on Sunday when we go to the Etihad.”

It’s always daunting for a manager during this international window because you don’t know how players are going to come back, maybe with an injury… so, how is the squad looking now you’ve got players back here?
“It’s looking, in the first moment, really good and as you say, it’s always doubtful [if your players are going to return fit from the break]. As a manager, you’re not happy, you are losing the grip, they go away. You will always be happy when they come back and they are fit, and I think in the first moment, what I see now, they are.”


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