Erik ten Hag believes Man Utd’s hectic schedule leading up to Sunday’s final will actually work in his favour.
Less than 72 hours before the final at Wembley, the Red Devils face Barcelona tonight in a Europa League second leg at Old Trafford, with the tie finely poised after a 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp last Thursday.
While us Toon fans hope to see extra time, a tiring affair and a couple of key players pull up with injuries, ten Hag insists it’s a ‘big advantage’ for his side to get into the rhythm of ‘playing big games’ ahead of Sunday’s final.
The Dutchman believes it’s the ideal opportunity to ‘keep the momentum going’, yet many on Tyneside hope it’ll work against them – especially when Eddie Howe and the players have had all week to prepare for Sunday, while all eyes have been on Barcelona at Man Utd.
Here’s what ten Hag’s had to say:
“It’s a big advantage for us. We are used to playing big games and that will be a huge advantage for us. It’s about us to keep the momentum going.”
“The next game is the most important game. What we have to do is by the end of April, we have to put ourselves in a position where we can win trophies.”
“We have to go from game to game as the focus, but especially, you have to keep in the same mindset that every day we want to give a better version of ourselves. When you are facing such big teams as Barcelona, you have to play your best, otherwise you don’t have a chance.
“So, we want to get through, to get to the next round and we have to give the best performance from this season. We believe in it, we’re looking forward to it, so it gives us a lot of energy.”