Erik ten Hag uses Ajax example to prove Man Utd are capable of winning multiple trophies this season
- United still in line to win quadruple
- Ten Hag feels squad can cope with demands
- Claims fight for trophies can keep energy levels up
WHAT HAPPENED? Sunday's Carabao Cup final victory over Newcastle could be one of four trophies United end up winning this campaign, with Ten Hag's side still technically in with a shot at the quadruple. While some have pointed towards the fatigue of competing in all three remaining cup competitions, the Dutchman feels it is exactly this which will keep his side spurred on, unlike previous seasons with Ajax.
WHAT THEY SAID: "It’s true. In my experience in Ajax, when we dropped out of Europe the levels went down and when you are in it gives energy," Ten Hag said in a press conference. "Yes, I think [the United squad can cope with the demands]. Until now, we have managed it quite well and I think we can do it also until the end of the season. Except Anthony Martial, the availability from all the players is there. Mentally, they are really ambitious, that is one thing and that gives energy.
"Second, we have the type of players who can handle the load, the physical load. Of course, the players have to take responsibility for their performance. But I can’t see that [a drop in levels happening]. It’s a trophy but it’s not the end of the season. What I have heard around me and when I see the comments… when I see the fight in the dressing room it’s not like we are satisfied with this. We want to do better. So it’s inspiring and it’s not the end - definitely not."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: An assured 2-0 victory over the Magpies came just three days after securing their passage to the Europa League last-16 having come from behind against runaway La Liga leaders Barcelona. Ten Hag's side are one of the country's in form sides, having lost just once since the World Cup break and his words encouraging the push for more trophies echo a winning mentality also present in his open letter penned to fans after the Cup final.
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WHAT NEXT FOR UNITED? The hunt for the quadruple continues on Wednesday, when Ten Hag leads his side out at Old Trafford against West Ham in the FA Cup fifth round.