Erik ten Hag insists Man Utd need Champions League qualification ahead of crunch Brighton showdown
- United currently in fourth spot in PL
- Have six games to play
- Ten Hag urged players "to win every game"
WHAT HAPPENED? The Red Devils are well-placed to grab a Champions League spot for next season as they currently find themselves in fourth place with 63 points from 32 matches, four points ahead of fifth-placed Liverpool with two games in hand. With six games left, Ten Hag has urged his troops to give their all to secure an automatic Champions League qualification berth before a tricky trip to the Amex Stadium to take on Brighton.
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WHAT THEY SAID: "We want to win every game, we want to win every competition...but it's clear we want to be in the Champions League. That is the competition we are now fighting for and I think that is in this moment the only thing we have to focus on because the FA Cup final is after the season. So the only thing we have to do now is to get this done," he told reporters.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: United have steadily progressed under Ten Hag as they won the Carabao Cup in February. They are on course to qualify for the Champions League and have already sealed a berth in the FA Cup final. However, the manager is not ready to put his guard down and warned his players of the dangers of complacency before locking horns against the Seagulls, who will be vying for revenge after being recently defeated in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
"I never want to talk during the season about proud or satisfaction. No, because you know my statement: satisfaction leads to laziness and we are in the season. We have six games to go and every game we want to win," he said. "Therefore you need full focus, you need full energy and you need full preparation and definitely it's going to be a fight and we have to get ready for that fight to get the points.
AND WHAT'S MORE: Ten Hag added: "I think everyone who is involved in top sport, if you get beaten you want to have revenge, and that is normal. They have a huge motivation to beat us but we have to match that. Not only match that, we have to do more. We have to show more, that we have more hunger than them to win this game."
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WHAT NEXT? United's quest for a top-four finish will be challenged by Brighton when the two sides meet on Thursday in the Premier League. This fixture will be followed by a clash against Wolves at home on May 13.