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regular-article-logo Thursday, 23 May 2024

Manchester United vs Coventry City, FA Cup semi-final: Trophy-hungry Erik ten Hag cautious

United meet Championship (second tier) side Coventry City at Wembley after beating Liverpool in a thrilling FA Cup quarter-final match last month that went to extra time

Reuters Manchester Published 21.04.24, 10:42 AM
Erik ten Hag

Erik ten Hag File image

Manchester United are one win away from a second successive FA Cup final appearance, which could go a long way in salvaging a disappointing season for Erik ten Hag’s side, though the manager said Sunday’s semi-final would be a huge challenge.

United meet Championship (second tier) side Coventry City at Wembley after beating Liverpool in a thrilling FA Cup quarter-final match last month that went to extra time.

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That memorable game at Old Trafford, however, was one of United’s few positive results amid numerous poor ones that have left the squad seventh in the Premier League standings.

“Obviously, we want to win every game,” Ten Hag told reporters on Friday. “So when we don’t win we are disappointed, are frustrated, sure, but we know also we can beat the best teams. When we play to our levels, we can achieve really high highs.”

Manchester City edged United 2-1 in last year’s final.

“Last season was last season. We want to achieve every season, we want to win trophies, we have a big opportunity because we are in a semi-final, but it’s a huge challenge,” said Ten Hag, whose job future has been the subject of speculation this season.

“We know all the problems and when you have so many problems, you have to find solutions, so on Sunday we will find solutions and we want to go into the final.”

Ten Hag expects to have Antony and Scott McTominay back from injury on Sunday, and is hopeful about defender Harry Maguire.

“We have some problems. Harry had a small injury, so he hasn’t trained so far this week, but now he is back on the pitch,” the manager said. “We expect him back in team training. He will be available for Sunday, I hope.”

Ten Hag insisted United will “move on” from Alejandro Garnacho’s controversial social media activity after last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Bournemouth. The 19-year-old winger liked posts that criticised Ten Hag after the manager took the Argentine off at half-time.

“Alejandro is a young player, has to learn a lot. He apologised for it and we move on,” Ten Hag said.

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