Every word from first part of Erik ten Hag press conference before Man Utd v Crystal Palace | February 2023

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Raphael Varane announced his international retirement, what a servant for France. It allows him the opportunity to have less minutes in his body and more availability for you and United – good news for you and the club?
“Yeah, for United I think it’s good news, but I think Rapha, he has achieved everything. In international football, club-wise, but also with his nation. I think it is incredible what he has achieved. Big respect, and I’m happy he now puts all of his energy and his experience into our team.”

Erik, you’ve won the Premier League Manager of the Month [in September], Marcus Rashford is the Premier League Player of the Month [for January]. What does that say about the progress you’re making here?
“That’s always nice to win individual awards but it’s not about that. We have to win as a team, we have to work on that and when the team is winning, individuals will get their rewards. That is always the way in football, not the other way around.”

On Sabitzer, would you have any reservation of putting him straight into the first XI? Have you seen enough already from him that he could start the match, not just be involved?
“I think he’s a really smart player, I think we gave him some guidance, but I think he knows what to do, he knows the job, so he could do.”

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