Erik ten Hag says Man United were taught a ‘lesson’ during their 6-3 thrashing by Man City in October… but he insists revenge won’t be a factor as they meet again with the in-form Red Devils flying
Erik ten Hag insists Manchester United have learned their lessons from their 6-3 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City as the two rivals prepare to meet again.
Phil Foden and Erling Haaland both smashed hat-tricks as United were battered at the Etihad Stadium back on October 2.
Since then, United’s fortunes have improved and they sit fourth in the Premier League – just four points behind second-placed City – ahead of Saturday’s derby at Old Trafford.
Man United were humiliated by their rivals City in a 6-3 thrashing at the Etihad back in October
Phil Foden and Erling Haaland both scored hat-tricks that afternoon as City ran riot
Ten Hag’s team have won their last eight matches in all competitions, making progress in both the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup.
‘It was a lesson, we took the lesson and from that point on we have made huge progress so we have to continue the progress,’ Ten Hag said of the teams’ last meeting.
‘That game was a setback, we can all find reasons why but it is always about having to act, to deliver.
‘As a manager, a coach, you have to go through certain steps, you need a clear philosophy, a clear point where you want to go… a direction.
‘Then it is about development and that is what we did but like many things in life, and particularly football, there is never an end point.’
Erik ten Hag’s United have improved since then and are on course to finish in the top four
Victor Lindelof, Bruno Fernandes and Antony look dejected during the 6-3 loss at the Etihad
Man United fixtures
Premier League unless stated
Saturday Manchester City (H)
Wednesday Crystal Palace (A)
January 22 Arsenal (A)
January 24/25 Nottingham Forest (A)
Carabao Cup semi-final, first leg
January 28 Reading (H)
FA Cup fourth round
January 31/February 1 Nottingham Forest (H)
Carabao Cup semi-final, second leg
The Dutch coach insisted his team won’t be motivated by revenge when they take on City again on Saturday.
‘It is not about that game any more, that is the past. It is about the future. You can’t change the past but you can change the future,’ he said.
Pep Guardiola’s City have looked more fallible in recent outings, losing 2-1 at home to Brentford just before the World Cup break.
They also dropped two points in their title push when they drew 1-1 at home to Everton on New Year’s Eve and Southampton put them out the Carabao Cup in midweek.
‘I don’t look but of course we notice that they had a setback and I have seen many games of them, but we have to look at ourselves and play our best game,’ said the United boss.
‘It is all about us. The opponent plays an important role in football but you have to play your best game. That is what I demand of my players – play your best game with full belief, not naive, and act like a winner.’
Ten Hag confirmed that new loan signing Wout Weghorst will not be available for Saturday’s match.
He also said midfielder Donny van de Beek will miss the remainder of the season with the serious knee injury suffered in the recent win over Bournemouth.
Diogo Dalot will miss the game and Anthony Martial will have a late fitness check after a leg knock.
City suffered a rare setback when they were dumped out of the Carabao Cup in midweek
Donny van de Beek left the field injured and in tears during Manchester United’s win over Bournemouth in the Premier League on January 3
The Dutch midfielder is ruled out for the remainder of the season with his latest setback