Manchester United and Erik ten Hag have little time to breathe, with Sunday’s frustrating 0-0 draw against Newcastle now quickly followed by the visit of Tottenham to Old Trafford.
United have still only lost once since their disastrous start to the season, but the failure to score a legal goal against Newcastle was disappointing and ended an otherwise good run of form.
The key now is to bounce back against a Tottenham side that have started well and are already seven points ahead of United, albeit having played a game more.
Are Anthony Martial or Christian Eriksen available?
“Anthony Martial is not available. He’s back on the pitch but not in the team training.
“Christian Eriksen returned in the team training today and we have to see how that works out, how he will recover, if he has the energy tomorrow, so we have to wait for that.”
Any updates on Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka or Donny van de Beek?
“Making good progress all and they will return to team training this week.”
Do you have an issue with Cristiano Ronaldo’s reaction to being substituted?
“I think no player is happy when they get off and especially not Ronaldo. As long as it is in quite a normal way no problem with that.”
Has Christian Eriksen’s impact surprised you?
“No, of course, I’ve known him a long time. Everyone knows he developed at Ajax, I knew him from the Netherlands but as a manager, I have faced him. I know his capabilities and know his importance for our game and I’m so happy we signed him.”
Anything to say about Antonio Conte?
“He’s a fabulous manager, winning titles, trophies in the Premier League, Italy and you can really see his signature in the match from his team. That’s a big compliment I think.”
What do you make of the team being charged?
“I don’t think [the reaction] was too strong but I don’t know what’s happening exactly on the pitch as it’s too far away for me on the pitch. I’ve seen the video, there was a touch from the player from Newcastle that’s quite clear and they wanted to point that to the referee.
“First of all, I want to express we always accept the referees’ decision but it’s also quite normal to ask why in the moment, it was a curious incident, you ask as a team why. But finally and quite clear you have to accept it. Then you have to move on.
“You are right we are example for amateurs and youth, quite clear. We have to know our role but it’s also about professional football so when it’s a decision like this, and it was quite obvious a player touched the ball from Newcastle, our players took advantage of it to ask why.”
How will you keep players fresh?
“At the start of the season we tried to plan for the overload on players and you see around many clubs now many injuries are coming up. You can’t avoid it…tough football injuries will come.
“This many games in a long season and what a huge problem is players don’t get a break in the summer, a huge overload and they can’t recover. You have to manage that and protect players not only from injury but to keep them in the right form.
“You have to rotate, you need a squad, keep everyone fresh to avoid big injuries as much as you can and to get them in the right shape and keep them in the right form.”