Following his side’s Carabao Cup title win, which ended the club’s trophy drought that lasted more than five years, Manchester United boss Erik Ten Hag said the silverware shows that the club is on a right path and the win should be a motivation to keep going and improve, to stay happy but not satisfied.
Manchester United finally got their hands on the silverware after cruising through the Carabao Cup final with a 2-0 victory against Newcastle United. First-half goals from Casemiro and an own goal from Sven Botman were enough to secure their first trophy after their successful Europa League campaign under Jose Mourinho in 2017.
“Silverware shows you are on a good pathway, a good direction. It is one cup and it is February but it shows we are [going] in the right direction,” said Hag after the team’s win as quoted by Sky Sports.
“This has to be the inspiration, the motivation to keep going on this pathway and improve. Be happy for 24 hours but not satisfied because that leads to laziness. When you become lazy you do not win any more games and you cannot win trophies,” added the manager.
He also said that he accepted his job at Manchester United due to his stubbornness despite knowing the risks that came with it. He expressed his love for the club and aim to create his own history at the club following the title win, which came just seven months into his debut season, within which he turned around the club’s form and culture after a worrisome start to the season.
His short stay at the club so far has seen him take tough decisions like the departure of star striker and club legend Cristiano Ronaldo following a controversial media interview and dropping the club skipper Harry Maguire from the starting XI.
“Maybe it was a risk [to take this job] but I am a little bit stubborn. I just love United,” he said.
“When I see our shirts, when I see the boundary with the fans, when I see Old Trafford, when I see the legacy Sir Alex [Ferguson] left and so many big players that were developed in United teams it makes a big impression.”
“We want to do the same, this team wants to make its own history and its own legacy. When this opportunity came I thought this was the right club for me,” Hag concluded his point.
United arrived at Wembley for the final against Newcastle having lost only one of their last 20 matches, still in contention of a Premier League title win, sitting in third place. A mid-week win over Barcelona in Europa League, followed by the Carabao Cup win just three days later indeed proves that the club is on right track.
Ten Hag was captured having dinner with Ferguson during the week while Avram Glazer, the club owner attended the final at Wembley. Both were invited into the dressing room to join the celebrations after the win.
“He was really happy for the club as owner. He really wanted to be part of it, you could feel that when he was in the dressing room. Very good he was there, he had to show his intentions,” said Hag.
“The way that he was there shows that he is committed about the process. What he wants is not for me [to say], I have to lead this team and others in the club are involved in the decisions about ownership,” added the manager.
On the dinner with Ferguson, Ten Hag added: “It is a dinner which shows we are good and that he is really involved and committed to this club. We all can learn a lot from him and what he did for Man Utd. He is an inspiration for all of us.”
“It’s an honour to share my thoughts, to talk about football, to talk about how he leads dressing rooms and teams and strategies etc. It is very good that he wants to share that not only with me but he wants to give that to Man Utd and we are very grateful for that.”
United is also in contention to win the FA Cup and winning Wednesday’s match against West Ham is an important step in that direction.
“It is an opportunity, it is possible. This can be your inspiration but you need to believe in it. It is only going to come if you do the right things. If you work very hard, if you stick together then things are possible,” said Hag.
“But you have to go from game to game, you cannot look far ahead and dream because it will distract you. The focus has to be on the job. One hundred per cent focus is necessary to get the right results,” added the manager.
Manchester United will host West Ham in their FA Cup tie on Wednesday. After that on Sunday, they will take on rivals Liverpool in a huge Premier League match.
Newcastle’s next game is against Premier League champions Manchester City on Saturday, following which they will host Wolves on Sunday. (ANI)