Harry Kane is a 'clever player' but Man Utd have a plan to stop priority transfer target wreaking havoc for Spurs, says Erik ten Hag

Harry Kane Ten Hag
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said his side will have a special game plan to cope with Harry Kane in Thursday's crucial match at Tottenham.
  • Ten Hag said United have plan to contain Kane
  • Kane is among the club's top transfer targets
  • Tottenham reeling after 6-1 thrashing by Newcastle

WHAT HAPPENED? United outplayed Tottenham at Old Trafford in October, winning 2-0 while barely allowing Kane, who is thought to be a priority transfer target for the Red Devils' this summer, to get involved in the game. The two sides meet in north London on Thursday in a crucial match for both team's hopes of finishing in the top four and Ten Hag admitted United will also have special tactics to limit Kane's influence at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium.

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WHAT THEY SAID: "It's quite clear, his impact on the game from Spurs. We have a plan for that and in the home game we did very well, so for tomorrow we need a very good plan as well," Ten Hag told a press conference. "You have to defend as a team, he's a clever player, don't allow him to come into the situations, he can have a big impact on the game."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: United sneaked past Brighton on penalties in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final following a goalless draw at Wembley, just three days after they were humiliated 3-0 by Sevilla to exit the Europa League. Ten Hag praised the team's character in overcoming the defeat but said their next challenge is to overcome setbacks during matches. "It was not so often that we have to bounce back, it happens with all the great teams, Real Madrid, heh [who lost 4-2 to Girona on Tuesday]? It's obvious they had a really bad defeat, of course, they are mad, that can be fuel for bouncing back. It's about us, an opponent can never be more hungry than us," he said. "That is how we have to prepare the game and make sure we go front foot, be dominant and dictate the game. They [the players] are resilient. They are able to do it, it's not easy but they can do it. Now we have to make the next step to do it in games where you get a setback. You can have a bad setback but show your character and personality in the game to bounce back. I have to make sure our players are ready tomorrow against a good opponent, good team, good players, I have to focus they have energy."


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Manchester United FA Cup semi-final shootout 2023Cristian Stellini Tottenham 2022-23Harry Kane Tottenham 2022-23

AND WHAT'S MORE: United are fourth in the Premier League and six points clear of Tottenham with two games in hand. Spurs, who are sixth in the table, were hammered 6-1 at Newcastle on Sunday, leading to interim coach Cristian Stellini being sacked one month after Antonio Conte left the club by mutual consent. Ten Hag admitted the match was vital for United's top-four hopes. "Very. You see the table. It's quite clear but the approach, our approach will not change," he said. "Our approach is we want to win every game, it doesn't matter who the opponent is."

WHAT NEXT? After facing Tottenham, United will host fifth-placed Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Sunday.