Erik ten Hag determined to finish Manchester United’s trophy

Erik ten Hag has vowed to do everything in his power to help Manchester United end their worst trophy drought in 40 years ahead of the Carabao Cup semi-final clash at Nottingham Forest.

The Old Trafford giants are synonymous with trophies, but they haven’t added much to their wardrobe since beating Ajax and winning the Europa League title in Stockholm in 2017.

Since then, United have reached the semi-finals of six different competitions, losing the FA Cup final in 2018 and the Europa League in 2021.

The improving Ten Hag team is now two games away from a chance to claim glory and end a six-year wait for cutlery – a relative drought it last experienced between 1977 and 1983.

“It’s the best feeling you can have winning a trophy,” said the United boss, who won the Eredivisie with Ajax last season.

“I’ve been lucky in my career to win some trophies and that’s great, especially for the fans.

“It’s great and I think the fans here have some experience, especially the older ones.

Manchester United last won the trophy in 2017, beating Ajax in the Europa League final (Nick Potts/PA)

“But now there’s a period where Manchester United didn’t win trophies and that’s too long ago.

We are aware of that and we have to do everything to bring back the trophy.

United kick off the two-legged semi-final on Wednesday night at the swinging City Ground. The Red Devils haven’t played there since 1999, when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored four goals off the bench in an 8-1 win.

“It was a long time ago (since United played there), huh?” Ten Hag said. “But I think we like it – it’s nice to play to a fanatical audience.

“It will be a good atmosphere and I think it will motivate the players and we have to prepare for that.

“It’s about winning trophies so we have a good opportunity but you have to go game by game so now we’re playing Forest, two games so focus on the first game.

“Don’t think further, don’t think further because it’s distracting, so the goal for tomorrow is to win this match.”

United are looking to get back on winning ways after two frustrating Premier League trips to the capital.

A late Michael Olise free-kick secured a 1-1 draw for Crystal Palace last Wednesday and Eddie Nketiah struck to death as Arsenal triumphed 3-2 on Sunday.

“We’ve left it behind,” said Ten Hag of the defeat at the Emirates Stadium, which made him critical of some of his team’s defenders.

Arsenal v Manchester United - Premier League - Emirates Stadium

Manchester United suffered a late defeat against Arsenal on Sunday (John Walton/PA)

“We’ve learned the right lessons and then we need to move forward and fast because there’s a big game tomorrow so focus on that.”

When asked if defense is an area of ​​concern, Ten Hag said, “No, because I think we did a lot of games very well.

“We’ve got a lot of clean sheets. Against Man City we defended very well.

“I think overall, also at Arsenal, we defended very well. They didn’t shoot clean shots. He only got one free kick.

“For the rest, it was just shots, cuts, shots from distance, there were a lot of our defenders between the ball and the goal.

“That’s what I meant – all the goals were avoidable so this can’t happen. This is what I ment.

Manchester United v Burnley - Carabao Cup - Round 4 - Old Trafford

Anthony Martial will miss Wednesday’s match against Nottingham Forest (Isaac Parkin/PA)

“When you concede three goals in your best game, it’s really hard to win the game. It does, so that’s one of the conclusions.

“This can’t happen. We came to this conclusion, we talked about it, we showed them that we have to learn and learn from this lesson.”

Casemiro returns from his suspension against Forest but Anthony Martial, Diogo Dalot and Jadon Sancho will again be absent.

Ten Hag added: “All the players who were not available for the match against Arsenal so Dalot, Martial, Sancho are also not available for tomorrow.”

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