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Ten Hag Discusses Form, Rashford's Role, and Preparations for Manchester Derby

Manchester, UK - Manchester United's manager, Erik ten Hag, shared his insights on his team's current form and preparations ahead of the much-anticipated Manchester derby. Speaking in a press conference, ten Hag acknowledged that while the squad is making progress, there is still work to be done.

Form and Ambitions

Ten Hag admitted: "We are going in the right direction with some way to go. I see positives and negatives." The manager referred to Christian Eriksen's observations and emphasised the need for greater consistency in possession. He noted, "Pressing, we are quite good, we have the most ball regains in the Premier League. There you see our organisation. But we don't take the benefit in the attacking transitional moments; we should be because we have the ability in the team." He remained optimistic, stating: "This has to progress, and games will be easier."

Belief in Rashford

When questioned about Marcus Rashford's form, ten Hag expressed his confidence in the young forward. He said, "We need to give him the trust. I play him every game, and in most games, he finishes the game, so I have a strong belief he will return to scoring a lot of goals." Rashford's performance in the upcoming derby could be pivotal for Manchester United.

The Gap to City

As the derby approaches, the question of how far Manchester United are from their city rivals, Manchester City, arises. Ten Hag responded: "At the moment, six points back, so we have to catch up." He acknowledged the need for development within the team and the importance of supporting players like Rashford. "We have to make developments," ten Hag stressed. "It also has to do with the cooperation around and the distribution to him, so that is my focus point."

The Manchester Derby

With the upcoming clash against Manchester City, ten Hag recognised the significance of the match. "It is a match that is so huge because it is Manchester, internal, but all eyes will be on this game worldwide." The derby is much more than a local showdown; it's a global football event.

Andre Onana's Progress

Erik ten Hag also discussed the progress of goalkeeper Andre Onana. "He has high expectations of himself," said the manager. "You have to tell him 'look what you did in the past with great clubs. You have the skills to do it.'" Ten Hag commended Onana's recent performances and encouraged him to maintain the momentum.

Squad Update

Ten Hag wrapped up his press conference with an update on his squad's readiness for the derby. He mentioned that Aaron Wan Bissaka was training, but there is a race against time for Casemiro.

There was also mention of Alejandro Garnacho's social media post about Andre Onana. Ten Hag commented: "I'm not concerned at this moment. We are talking with the FA, but what you see, and I want to emphasise, is that we are united." As the Manchester derby approaches, Manchester United will aim to showcase their progress, bridging the gap to Manchester City in the English top flight table.

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