Ahead of United’s second leg Europa League tie against Real Betis, Erik ten Hag has spoken to the club’s official website about what we should expect from an away game in Spain, following previous trips to play Real Sociedad and Barcelona this season.
You [will] see a really frantic home crowd, an audience that are really behind their team so we have to be aware of that. But most important is to play our game and be proactive, we know they are very good and we have seen that in the first half last week at Old Trafford. We know that we have to again put 90 minutes in on the pitch like [we did] in the second half.[There are] some tough opponents. If you face [Real] Sociedad, if you face Barcelona, now Real Betis, you are facing strong opponents and we have to play our best. It is only going to get more difficult if it continues, but first, we have to compete for that, we have to battle for that and we have to play a game where we have to play our best football because we are playing against a strong opponent.
United’s injury list is growing, with Alejandro Garnacho suffering an injury that will keep him after weeks after an unpunished foul against Southampton. This follows the months of playing time Christian Eriksen has missed after an unpunished foul from Andy Carroll, and the season ending injury Donny van de Beek suffered from, you guessed it, another unpunished foul.
Ten Hag has spoken about his disappointment over the injuries but recognises it’s an opportunity for another player to step up.
You never want to lose players. But also you know it is a risk of the season and when you play tough games, you can lose players but of course you are disappointed if you lose players by bad contact of opponents.
When players get injured, other players have to fill in. I think the whole season it was not optimum. We lost a lot of players during the season, but every time we put a team on the pitch [we are] really acting as a team who can adjust and deal with setbacks.