- Man United will travel to the Etihad Stadium to play Man City on Sunday
- Erik ten Hag believes his players are ready for the challenge that awaits them
- We never thought it would be ‘warrior’ Bruno Fernandes, but where would Man United be without their captain? Listen to the Podcast Everything is beginning
Erik ten Hag says he can “smell” the excitement in the Manchester United camp ahead of Sunday’s Etihad derby.
United face Manchester City who need a win to boost their Champions League qualification hopes after losing at home to Fulham last weekend.
However, rather than fearing a team that is still on course to repeat their treble success last season, Ten Hag believes his team is enjoying the challenge.
“The players are looking forward to it, I can smell it when I’m around,” the United manager said at Carrington, adding that Bruno Fernandes and Raphael Varane are expected to be fit after Wednesday night’s FA Cup win. at Nottingham Forest. .
‘Our form, we are also on a good run and the spirit is very good. We are united, we have the union to make a good game plan. We have done it before against City, recently against Liverpool.
Erik ten Hag believes his Man United players are excited to face Man City this weekend
Expect Bruno Fernandes and Raphael Varane to be fit after recent injuries
United will face a rampaging City side, who scored six goals against Luton on Tuesday, with Erling Haaland scoring five.
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“They have a good team, but there are more good teams. They have won everything in the last season, so we know the challenge, but Liverpool also have a very good team and we like challenges.”
United’s new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe said last week that United’s mission is to take down City and Ten Hag expects his team to improve their game in the same way other teams do against United.
“So I think (Ratcliffe’s comment) has nothing to do with us, but we want to win every game, that’s always our mentality and our approach in every game,” he said.
“We always want to play against the best. You can also see that the opponent gets their best results against Manchester United and maybe this game will be the other one. We know that we have to give everything and show the team’s performance if we want to get a result. So if you do it, it’s possible.”
However, Ten Hag does not believe Sunday’s result will determine United’s bid to finish in the Champions League places this season. “No, because there are still many games to play,” he added.
‘After City there are many more games coming. “We know we have to catch up, but there are also many more games to catch up and be in the right position.”