Press conference and other interviews thread

IRN-BRUno

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Nottingham Forest press conference:

Team news
"To start with last: I don't think so. It will be a similar squad as we had against Villa.
"Mid-January we expect many players back. Mason, Casemiro, Martinez, Malacia, so we expect Harry Maguire, of course. We expect many players to return in January."
Nottingham Forest preview
"With them, you see the reaction with a new manager is coming in. You see the spirit, we have to be ready for that.
"It's always about us but be aware of it, be aware they have the right spirit. Of course, they built the confidence but that is what we did as well and we have to continue in the performance."
Ten Hag not spoken to Ineos yet
"As you said, the schedule is so condensed I didn't have the time so far to speak with them but it will come. I look forward. They want to work with me, I want to work with them, we will have the conversations, the meetings. We will see."
United challenge the same despite fresh investment
"I'm focused on the game so far, so I said no (to discussions). In this moment I don't want to have distractions. In the coming days, weeks, there will be time for us, then I'll know more.
"I think it's a good thing, it's very positive. We are looking really forward to work together. Ineos wants to work with me in this structure and I want to work with them.
"We always want to win, it doesn't matter who is the leader. We are appointed here in this area, we need a winning culture no matter who is in the lead, no matter who is the owner. But, of course, owners can inspire you."
United in talks over Onana call-up
"Could he be available for the Wigan FA Cup tie? The situation is that we're talking, we have good relationships with all the federations. It's also about Sofyan and Hannibal"
Never doubted Hojlund
"I trust him, I knew he could, his goals in the Champions League showed he could. What he did as a young player in Austria and Italy. This goal will give him belief he's going to score more goals from this point on."
Villa a benchmark
"We proved, despite all the setbacks, not any team can deal with so many setbacks we had. Number of points we are not satisified, but you have to be pleased. When we have all the players back, the squad is strong. Against Liverpool, Arsenal, Villa, the top three teams in the league, we went toe-to-toe. We can beat anyone."
Why is Villa result different
"It showed once again, this squad is strong. We can compete, we go head-to-head with the strongest teams in this league. When the strongest players are back we can beat anyone with the right mentality."
 

Belisarius

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Nottingham Forest press conference:
"To start with last: I don't think so. It will be a similar squad as we had against Villa.
"Mid-January we expect many players back. Mason, Casemiro, Martinez, Malacia, so we expect Harry Maguire, of course. We expect many players to return in January."
Have I misunderstood or is he saying that he is expecting Mason Greenwood back in January?
 

Glorio

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Nottingham Forest press conference (Embargoed Section):

Erik, what is it... you've always praised the setup at Manchester United and everything you have behind you... what is it about INEOS and their background that makes you think it's going to change anything for the better?
“So I can say at this moment because I'm looking forward to the talks with them, but they are... so, in other clubs they have experience in other sports. They have a lot of experience, a lot about performance. They have a lot of knowledge. So I'm really looking forward to how they can contribute and I'm sure they can. And so we have to pick the things. Football is a very complicated sport, especially at the top. So I'm sure they will contribute. They will help us to achieve our high ambitions.”

And when you refer to setbacks that no other club could handle [in press conference part one], every club has injuries. What other setbacks are you referring to, apart from injuries?
“But I can't list that. And the press conference takes 45 minutes to list all the injuries we have had. I haven't [got time], come on. I think we have had nine, 10 partnerships in centre backs, for instance. And that's only one thing. But I said also many times more, that can't be an excuse. We have to win. We have to win every game. And I think sometimes we were pragmatic, but, for instance against Villa, you see our style, you see our identity, how we can play, how quick we can play, and also how we can build up from the back. So I think we have a lot of things where it can really help us, that we can be confident and have a big belief in this group of players. We have a good team. You have seen this period and we can deal with the setbacks. So, if players come back, we will be stronger and then we can make also from this season, we can make a success.”

Last year you took the players to Cadiz during the World Cup. Given this winter break coming up, are you going to go away to a training camp or just train here at Carrington?
“No, we will stay here.”

What?! That's a shame for all of us.
“You're not happy with it?”

We'd have liked to have got some sun!
“No sun!”

What was the thinking behind that? Is it just the familiarity [of Carrington]?
“But it's a different season. And last year there was the World Cup. And so we went there with a group of players who were not involved in the World Cup. We gave them some weeks off before, but now it's totally different and the players are loaded in games. So we have to make a very good programme about giving the players rest, time to relax, but also to set the right programme to prepare for the second half of the season.”

Just going back on the absences for the game, I think Anthony Martial has been unwell for nearly three weeks now. Is he okay? Is it a bad case of illness?
“Yeah, so he's unwell. He's not available.”

You mentioned twice there that INEOS want to work with you. Is it fair to assume from that you've had some sort of contact with them and reassurance from the club and INEOS that you are their man basically?
“So, from the start of the process, I was kept informed, first by Richard Arnold and later on by Patrick Stewart. So I know everything. I know every detail, how the meetings are and how the talks are, how the agreements are. And, now it is just to settle down and give us some time. I have to talk with them and not with you about this, and then we will see. But I'm sure, I'm very positive about the messages.”

A number of players are out of contract in the summer. Varane, Lindelof, Wan-Bissaka, Hannibal and Anthony Martial. I know you normally say to us that you will let us know when we've got some news, but we're now two days away from...
“Exactly! We will do it immediately, so don't worry. So just be patient and wait.”

[Two days away] from when those players can start talking to foreign clubs, so is there any news on those contracts or extensions?
“But we talk with the players and of course with the agents and so this is an internal process between us, the club, and the players, and I can't debate this in here.”

Erik, as you said, you've never made excuses for all the injuries, off-field issues with players, all the uncertainty over the ownership. Now the INEOS thing is clearer, players are coming back, other issues are sort of calmer, less frenetic schedule, do you feel like a weight is going to be lifted off a lot of the club and you can move forward with a lot more optimism and confidence over the coming months?
“I think we are very optimistic. So when the players are returning, then [it's like] we have five or six new signings in January.”

If Andre Onana departs for AFCON, he'll be unavailable for at least two games. You've spoken before about how you're happy with the goalkeeping group. What can we expect from Altay Bayindir or Tom Heaton if they were to come in?
“I never talk in 'if' so we are prepared for this. So we constructed the squad that we are prepared for this scenario.”

You've spoken before about the need to have three goalkeepers as well. Is there any chance you promote a youth goalkeeper or perhaps a short-term loan?
“When we have news, we will let you know.”

Can I add a tactical question here? (“A what?”) Can I ask you about tactics?
“Tactics? Yes. What do you want to know?”

After Aston Villa, you said that in your half-time team talk, you told your full-backs to push higher, to engage higher. How do you make sure your full-backs do this from minute one rather than minute 45? How do you do it consistently?
“Ah, but it depends also from game to game, if you talk about tactics. So, where are the spaces? And in which timings have you attacked those spaces? And that depends from game to game. Sometimes you want your full-backs in some parts of the game to be low but they have to know when they have to come high and that is tactics.”

So against Villa, who play with a very high line, you wanted them to be high up?
“It was not only about the full-backs. I think our plan was clear, to get in behind. I think, during the whole game, I think we made it several times and I think we did it very good against them.”
 

Amar__

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Wow, that's some insightful tactics question from that journalist.

Anyone else surprised that people who have invested so much money in football club haven't yet talked with main man in the club?
 

Cheimoon

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Wow, that's some insightful tactics question from that journalist.

Anyone else surprised that people who have invested so much money in football club haven't yet talked with main man in the club?
I was wondering about that. I'm not sure 'not at all's is accurate; they probably were briefly introduced already? I'd suppose so, anyway; it's weird otherwise.

But I was thinking a proper meeting might take an hour or a few hours, and with the busy holidays schedule (including time off at home), I could imagine that Ten Hag and his staff don't have time and mental space for that. There's a lot more space in January, so then it would make sense to wait a week or two and do this meeting (or series of meetings?) properly without getting in anyone's way.

We also don't know if Radcliffe's side is ready for an in-depth meeting about football affairs anyway. I don't suppose Ten Hag would be interested in a long meeting talking about corporate affairs, and he says in the quotes above that he already knows about the agreement.
 

Sassy Colin

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I was wondering about that. I'm not sure 'not at all's is accurate; they probably were briefly introduced already? I'd suppose so, anyway; it's weird otherwise.

But I was thinking a proper meeting might take an hour or a few hours, and with the busy holidays schedule (including time off at home), I could imagine that Ten Hag and his staff don't have time and mental space for that. There's a lot more space in January, so then it would make sense to wait a week or two and do this meeting (or series of meetings?) properly without getting in anyone's way.

We also don't know if Radcliffe's side is ready for an in-depth meeting about football affairs anyway. I don't suppose Ten Hag would be interested in a long meeting talking about corporate affairs, and he says in the quotes above that he already knows about the agreement.
Stop being sensible, this is the United Forum.
 

doughole

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It may sound strange to fans but the corporate strategy will be ironed out first before there is anything meaningful to say to the manager.
 

IRN-BRUno

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Wigan press conference:

Ten Hag confirms trio have had extensions activated
"We are talking with Rapha Varane, with Anthony Martial, and we triggered the options on Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof and Hannibal."
Ten Hag on why United are still in talks with Varane and Martial
"I think that is an internal discussion between the club and the player."
Ten Hag opens up on Ratcliffe meeting
"Very positive, I have to say. We had a long meeting, so many hours we sit together. On many issues we were on the same page, very positive from both sides. I can say that it was a very constructive meeting and we're looking forward to working with each other."
Ten Hag shares more on Ratcliffe talks
"We have to let it settle down. They have just come in and are introducing themselves. They have good ideas. We have to see what we can integrate. We have to work. They have given me a few [ideas]. We have our debates. I think we will come together."
Ten Hag issues Onana update amid AFCON uncertainty
"So we're talking with the Cameroon federation. It was an issue during the talks with Andre when he came in here. It's constructive. We will see. I don't know yet (if he will play against Tottenham) but he will be here for the game against Wigan."
Ten Hag coy on Sancho's future
"I can't say anything about that. We have to wait and see how things are going. When we have news, we will tell you. I can't say anything about this subject because there is no news."
Ten Hag tight-lipped on injury latest
"I think we will, more or less, have the same squad as we did against Nottingham Forest."
 

IRN-BRUno

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Spurs press conference:

Ten Hag on injuries and team news
"I don't know. What do you expect? We have had a lot of injuries, so this week in training, the last couple of days, Licha Martinez training, Casemiro training, Luke Shaw training, so there are players returning, they are coming in for selection for Sunday. Antony, yeah. Eriksen was ill in the week, he will return. Antony will return. Amad will return. We have more choice in this moment in the squad to put out a starting XI and create a bench that is stronger."
Ten Hag on Sancho
"I hope he's doing well, so I wish him the best of good luck. That's it. I hope he's doing well and he'll be a success."
Ten Hag on players returning
"They are returning, a step ahead, when I talk about Licha Martinez returning, Casemiro returning, for instance, but they were a long time away, Mason Mount will return but take a little longer, Tyrell Malacia will return as well, Victor Lindelof is also on his way back but it will take some weeks and takes time to get back into match fitness. When we have the news we will tell you. I'm not sure the word relief, first it has to happen they are back but it is positive they are back on the training ground and that they go back to the team and then to 100% match fitness."
Ten Hag on Sancho again
"I replied [to the previous question], I think it's enough."
Ten Hag on Tottenham challenge
"Definitely different, so I think they complement the way they played, he changed the environment there, they're really proactive, very enjoyable to watch them with a lot of dynamics, very proactive, they combine it with good results but also when we played them over there and I think that's what we can take belief out of that. In the first 35 minutes we dominated them, we should have gone in the lead but we didn't so we have to make our own luck and take control of the game and finish the chances."
Ten Hag taking game by game
"Sunday's most important and I don't look further than that, in the background I organise, prepare for the second half of the season and make the best programme for all the players, we have a group of players who make the last step into match fitness, if they need a different programme to the players with a tough programme in 2023, it will be a different approach in the coming weeks going up to the next FA Cup round."
Ten Hag on the unsettled defence
"What you actually want is a team that is stable so doesn't matter that you have to swap one player from the other game but not two, so many swaps as we're forced to in the last year. Previously over my total cause here we didn't have the option so often to play a fit squad that you can pick the team, that depends on the approach you want to take to the game."
Ten Hag on Antony's performances
"I can explain I think it's very simple. His off field issues stop him playing. First year was okay, the pre-season was very okay, first four games was very good, I've seen the game against Spurs back and he played a very good game but from the moment he was out and then he came back and didn't deliver the performance you should expect from him and he can do so much better."
Ten Hag on Antony continued
"You mention Ajax, I look back there his effectiveness, end product was higher and also Champions League very high. He's capable of doing this, key actions, key passes, the crosses, the finishing, it's very high and should return to that level but the Premier League is more difficult and he's capable of doing that. It has had an effect, an impact on him, definitely, so he has to deal with that, he caused them, he has to sort them out but he has to do better."
 

IRN-BRUno

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Newport press conference:

Ten Hag on Klopp resignation
"It's no good for the Premier League. So he has made an era there, he built the club, he brought the club back where they belong, so congrats on that. He has done an amazing job in Liverpool."
Bayindir to make his debut vs Newport
"He will be in the goal.
"What we can expect for him, he waits for his chance but he is experienced, played in a big club in Turkey under big pressure, he knows how to deal with it, we were convinced... so we are looking forward to Sunday. Altay is waiting for this moment and this is his moment."
Bayindir can cope with FA Cup pressure
"You have been in Fenerbahce? Pressure. Also, Turkey, that is big pressure always, also for the national team so he knows how to deal with it."
The challenge of facing a lower league side
"Also in the Netherlands we have cup, we play the games against lower class teams. Always when you go, as a big club against a low class team, how you approach that."
United not expecting to sign a striker
"I looked but there is no space. There is no space for FFP to do something about this lack of quantity in the striker position. Of course, Rashford can play as a striker; we have some other alternatives and it's clear that Anthony is out for a couple of months it's a gap in our squad, clear."
United's last chance to win a trophy this season
"It's the truth, but the league, qualification for the Champions League. FA Cup is, as you say, probably is, fact, a last opportunity on the trophy and we go for it."
Ten Hag sympathises with Klopp's lack of energy
"I can understand that. Nine years is a long time. I think it's a period by building up, achieving targets but also I think setbacks and going into difficult periods, the Premier League is very intense, the combination with European club football, when you're there nine years it's a long period and I can understand he is running out of energy and that is one of his arguments to step down."
Ineos can lift United standards
"It gives spirit in this whole club, everyone notices this club is going into a period of changes and it's because we want to achieve high targets, standards have to change, we started with this one-and-a-half year ago.
"I'm sure Ineos and me are very aligned on this, we understand we have to change, we started that process last season with the dressing room but also many departments. I am very happy to raise the standards, to collaborate more and Ineos can have a big impact on that."
 

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Wolves press conference:

Ten Hag on Rashford
"So he has taken responsibility and for the rest it's an internal matter. Case closed."
Ten Hag on Rashford again
"As I said: case closed."
Ten Hag on team news
"Mason Mount is too soon but Andre Onana will return."
Does Rashford lack respect?
"It's nothing to do with that but as I said, let's focus on the game, let's move on. The statement is clear and we have to focus on winning football games."
Ten Hag on discipline
"In football, you need discipline and that is on the pitch but also off the pitch. There is a line between, when every player, every professional knows this, what is required. We have to focus on winning football games and that's all that matters and every top professional knows what is required."
Ten Hag on Rashford recapturing form
"So last two Premier League games, two goals, an assist. There is a developing, strong bond between Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund and we want to continue that process."
Ten Hag on the spirit
"We are quite confident and on our best days we can beat anyone. On our worst days, we go down to certain limits of what is not acceptable so we have to push our limits to high levels and on our worst days get our results in. Everyone in the squad is very convinced about this. They know players are coming back from long-term injuries and the team will be stronger, it helps the motivation and it helps the mood and the spirit of the team."
Ten Hag on spirit continued
"Every game we have to see as a final and every game we have to get the best out of it and this team has so much experience, they know that, I'm quite positive now we have our players back. Some need match rhythm but the line into this game is quite good, they had a friendly game, now a cup game and now you go into a Premier League game, the build up is quite good for those players so now we have to make the next step so individuals get back to their best form."
Ten Hag players returning from injury
"Clear. We know we have to catch up, first place, players know that, the team will be stronger when you miss players in crucial positions it weakens your team. Especially when you have to swap every game doesn't help the routines and we have seen some misunderstandings but now it's keeping the players fit, second is to get into better form and the third when we get that the results will be better."
 

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West Ham press conference:

Are you expecting any players back [for Sunday]? Amrabat given he is now out of the Africa Cup of Nations? Could he be back?
"Sofyan will return on Saturday and in the training, yes. Ty [Malacia] and Mason Mount, I don't expect them back. But Victor Lindelof is on his way back and, yesterday, he trained with team, we have to see how far he is."
Erik, the transfer window is now closed and a number of players have gone out on loan. You haven't been able to get a striker after Anthony Martial's injury. Are you confident you have the depth in the squad to achieve what you want to achieve this season?
"I think it is no secret that we wanted a striker. With the injury to Anthony Martial, we really needed a back-up there. But it was not possible and we had to watch the FFP rules."
What can Omari Forson offer?
"We have Omari, we have Amad Diallo. We also have Marcus Rashford, who can play there, but I think for the rest of the positions, all of them are well occupied. We have to be a little bit creative when it comes to the number nine position."
Hi Erik, sorry if I missed this, but is there any update on Aaron Wan-Bissaka?
"Sorry, no. He is also on his way back and he could be available for Sunday but I don't think he will make it for Sunday. I am not sure in this moment."
What is the injury?
"There is a problem in his leg."
What sort of problem?
"It is personal."
Lisandro Martinez had some ice on his foot at the end of the game. Is there anything wrong there or is that just a precaution?
"I took him off actually because I had to sub Rasmus Hojlund, he was dead with all that running. Then we needed an extra header, but for Licha, he has just had a long time out and we brought Harry Maguire on for Licha and also Omari Forson on for Rasmus Hojlund."
Just on Casemiro, you brought him off after he gave away the penalty. Was that a concern the booking he got early on? You seemed to have a conversation with him and then have a hug afterwards? Was everything okay?
"He has to catch up as well and with Case, I know the more games he plays, the better he will be. He needs some game minutes, that is what he takes the most benefit from. In that moment with another foul, he would have been sent off, so we cannot take that risk."
Can I ask about Mason, has he been out longer than you first expected when he first picked up the injury? Is it that he has had some kind of setback along the way somewhere?
"I think he is still struggling [from the injury] he got in the second game of the season. He returned for a period and then he picked up another injury. That is not great and it is frustrating for him and I feel for him. He had such high expectations and I had such high expectations for him, he could be a good player for us. What is the most important thing for him now is to get him fit and go and be secure in the process, step by step, don't force it and then hopefully by the end of the season he can stay fit and fight to be in the team. Or at least play a role in this team."
So you expect him to play again this season? It is not a case of him not playing again before then?
"Of course, I expect him to return."
Erik you mentioned FFP and you are not the only manager in the Premier League to have been left frustrated by that this window. Do you think it is a bad for the league? Are the rules perhaps too stringent or is it just every team, not just United, that is has taken the excitement of the window away?
"There are some disadvantages with FFP [Financial Fair Play]. To make space for FFP, you have to sell players and that is actually hard, you have to sell good players. I don't think this is the way you build a team."
 

IRN-BRUno

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Luton press conference:

Ten Hag on Shaw's injury
"Luke is doubtful for the weekend but we are positive he can make it. He came out as a precaution, it was the right direction. We work until Sunday."
Ten Hag on Wan-Bissaka, Mount & Malacia
"Aaron Wan-Bissaka will take some weeks because he picked up another injury in training last week. Mason and Tyrell will take some more weeks. He had setbacks during his rehab process, it takes too long, it’s bad for him, bad for us. But now we turned a point and it’s positive and he will return soon on the pitch. It won’t take long before he’s returning in team training."
Ten Hag on playing at Kenilworth Road
"Is the pitch smaller or longer? Is it 11 vs 11, no referees are coming? Every ambience is different, which is what I wanted to say. We have to deal with the circumstances and it's about playing football. We have to make it our game and it doesn't matter who you face. We respect every opponent, we are not in a position to underestimate any opponent. I have a lot of respect for this team and we have to play our best football."
Ten Hag on potential arrival of new staff (Ashworth)
“I am working, I am happy now, in this construction and when things change they will tell me but in a club as Manchester United you can’t do everything alone, it is impossible, you need very good people around you. I am happy but a club like Manchester United also have to look for better, never be satisfied, good is not good enough, always looking for better and always try to every day to do better than the day before."
Ten Hag on working with others
"I think it is very important you are on one page about football philosophy, about football tactics, about the profiles of the players you need in the team so it is very important to have very good communication so you get the right players. It is one of the most important factors to develop a good team, that you have the right players but also the right characters. That means you have to do the right work and be aligned and it's a long process to get the right players in."
Will Ten Hag have input in new appointments?
"I don’t know anything about changes. I talk with the new sporting organisation but it is not up to me. I am working and my focus point at this moment is on this team. We plan in this construction what we have in the club and for the future. We have a look and now the window closed in January we are working on the plans for the summer."
Could new appointments lift the mood?
"I think everything is always aligned. We are a club, not an isolated department, the first-team. But for the mood of the club, the team needs to perform and get the right results."
 

IRN-BRUno

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Fulham press conference:

Ten Hag on Hojlund's injury
"It's a small injury, two or three weeks. It's the risk, playing high intensity. It's not a big injury but he has to wait for two or three weeks."
Is Ratcliffe the right man to take United forward?
"Absolutely. We are very aligned. We have the same ambition. We belong there [Champions League], we believe, we have to prove it."
Ten Hag on Ratcliffe again
"We speak a lot, there are many conversations with him, with Dave Brailsford about this club, about this team, about the structures, we are very aligned, it totally fits with ambitions I have, ambitions I had when I came in. I'm 19 months in and I see we are going in the right direction. We have had setbacks in the second season but you see the team coming, the squad developing, work hard on the training pitch, work hard during games, it's important to have players fit but also to construct the squad, we will be strong and we will be even stronger when we add to this squad even more qualities."
More pressure after Ratcliffe's investment?
"Nothing. No more pressure because we have the same ambition, we have the same targets."
What if you don't get Champions League?
"That will always be the case [more pressure] but I see the process and I see this team is developing, it's progressing, I see we have now also the right age across the squad, we can make that even stronger and they will grow and we will do everything in our power, there is strong comp and there are reasons behind, we still have to catch up in the moment where every game is a final for us because we have to be in the Champions League, the players want this, the team want this but we have to believe."
Ten Hag on United's injuries
"Of course that is an issue but other clubs have this and we have to deal with this. I feel we can deal with it better but it's an issue when the depth of the squad... I don't go into that discussion now. What we look forward to is the future and what I discussed previously, you always have to improve, you always have to do better, bad structures can help for the future because the competitors never sleep, they always improve. As you see last season, third in the league, we have two finals, the way is not too far, you see in the last games what this team is capable of and the potential for this team is very good."
Can injuries give others opportunities?
"Both. All the players will get the opportunity to show their qualities, of course we are very curious and we have the confidence they can because that's why we constructed the squad when we went into the January window, we saw players who didn't have the chance in the first half of the season or they were injured and now they will get opportunities and now it's about them to be confident."
Ten Hag on playing Fulham
"We have to go from game to game, every game is a final, you will see closer by the end and points will be more expensive and everyone is fighting to get their position in the league table, we are used to it, not only from January are we playing a final but we also have an experience of many players who can deal with pressure situations so we look forward to it."
 

IRN-BRUno

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Nottingham Forest press conference:

Confirmed team news
"He (Casemiro) was bleeding so had to come off [against Fulham]. He's available for tomorrow."
Ten Hag on Brailsford talks
"About future? I know the future. But also, I have to look at today and we have to work on the team's development and progress and, of course, to win every game."
On Carragher analysis
"First of all, some analysts are very objective in their comments. Very good advice, some are very subjective. Jamie Carragher from the first moment on has criticised and now he wants to make his point.
"Probably in the first half an hour, yeah, he had a point. Fulham in their midfield set up surprised us a little bit and then we have to find the solutions. After half an hour we found the solutions."
Ten Hag defends Antony
"Antony: I backed him for a long time. I know his abilities and he has great abilities. When he plays like I know from the past he is unstoppable, no defender can stop him because he's one of the quickest players in the first 10 yards.
"When he plays that game he will perform. I'm sure he will do for the future, I'm sure he is resilient, he is a character and he will fight back and I back him. He now has to wait for his chance and once he is there he has to pick up."
Ten Hag wants to see an improvement
"I was not pleased with the performance with the defending, especially on the left side, how we did the pressing because they came out, especially in the first half an hour. Several times on the left side and that can't happen and that has to do with willingness, spirit, passion. That was in the previous weeks very good for this team and therefore, we won football games.
"I know footballers are not robots, sometimes they have bad, days. But it can't be, it's unacceptable, we have to do better tomorrow but in the weeks before we have done very well."
Ten Hag calls for patience with players
"First of all, I brought Kobbie Mainoo and everyone is questioning. Now we are six weeks and the same questioning are telling he has to go in the England squad. Same people.
"Garnacho - it's the truth - 'what is the manager doing? What is the staff doing?' Similar. They need time.
"Omari came on and it's not easy to come in a game because we didn't play our best game, but he plays a reasonable game, I think he showed abilities (that) he can be a player for the future.
"They need some time but they also have to know in top football you don't get time, you have to perform. When you come in you have to show it. But as a manager, I know they need the time, that is the paradox. I will give them the time, I believe in these players."
A defining week in the season
"'So many more defining moments will be coming up. The first game is the most important"
FA Cup importance
"When you are unbeaten for January and February, then you lose one game...Obviously it was a poor performance, poor defeat.
"We want to stay in every competiton. That doesn't change our approach, because that is for every match."
Fulham winner was unacceptable
"It can't happen when they have a throw-in in the corner. How we managed it. It wasn't good."
 

IRN-BRUno

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Man City press conference:

Erik, is anyone who didn't feature tonight coming back for this weekend? And are Bruno and Varane alright after being doubtful for Forest?
"They fought to be part [of it] and they came well out of the game. I think they will be available for Sunday as well. And for the rest, I don't think players will return for Sunday, so we do it with the squad from yesterday [at Nottingham Forest]."
Casemiro's goal and celebrations showed his winning mentality. Is that mentality important for Sunday? How important is he?
"Yeah but that passion, desire, determination, that is the base. But definitely when you go into the game on Sunday."
When you look at the two squads at the moment and players available, you have had a lot of injuries and you look at the form City are in at the moment. How can you convince your players they can go to City and get a result?
"Our form. We are also in a good run. This period is very good, we are united. We are in togetherness and make a good gameplan. We have done [well] before against City and also lately against Liverpool, so we will prepare well. The players are ready for it and looking forward to it. I can smell it. I am around here and speak with the players, so we are really looking forward and excited."
When you look at the City team, do you fear what they have got?
"They have a good team but there are more good teams. They have won in the last season, so this last year, everything, but we know and that is the challenge. But also Liverpool is a very good team and there are more good teams. We like the challenge and we are looking forward to challenge with them."
Sir Jim Ratcliffe spoke last week about wanting to knock City off their perch. Is this an opportunity for your team to make a statement and show you are not as far away as some people think?
"I think that has nothing to do with each other. But we want to win every game. That is always our mentality and our approach in every game. It doesn't matter who is the opponent. But, as I say, you always want to play against the best. So, most of the time we feel, and you can also see it, the opposition get the best outputs against Manchester United. Maybe this game is the other way around but we know we have to give everything and show a team performance, if we want to get the result. But if you do it, it is possible. That is also what the opposition shows in this moment against Manchester City."
What have you learnt from previous matches against Manchester City?
"We did it in several ways, many ways, and been successful. So, from all the games, we look back. We had the opportunity to win one time and you need a great day. That is also what we know, so the players have to give the best performances."
You were passionate last night in your defence of Bruno Fernandes and your claims that he had been targeted. Do you feel he gets enough protection from match officials?
"So he is a very passionate football player and he is a very creative football player. He is creating the most chances in the Premier League. You see opponents are targeting him and, especially after Saturday, when he had a knock and they see it, then I feel the refereeing should protect him. They had the chance already in the start of the game because it was obvious they were looking for him."
Do you think he has developed unwittingly maybe a reputation for going down too easily, and sometimes referees can be influenced by that?
"That is your impression."
I am asking you what you think...
"No, that is your impression. I thought it was definitely, on Saturday, a foul and it was really misjudged from media, from social media to blame him for that. Then opponents, they are targeting him and that is not right because then the referee should protect him and there were fouls on him, even after the ball was kicked away."
In that regard, did it not help that Fulham sent out that video on their own TikTok site saying a derogatory comment about Bruno? Has that helped to fuel the situation and not help him?
"I didn't know this but if they did it, I would say it is not right. It's absolutely not right that a club makes such statements because it is totally out of order and they were wrong. So they should apologise for this."
Just in terms of his determination and professionalism, how does he [Bruno Fernandes] rank in terms of those you have worked with in football?
"Highly. Very highly. First of all, his football skills. He is so creative in that final third, creating chances. Absolutely, [he is a] key player in that final third and then also his output and contribution for defending jobs and then leading, reading a situation, reading the press but also being the example, by running and running in the right moments. Pointing to players around him. He is absolutely a leader by example."
If you look at the Premier League, is this a defining weekend to know exactly where you are going to be come the end of the season?
"No. Because there are many more games to play. We are in the FA Cup, in a great game. After City, there are coming many more games and we know we have to catch up but, after that, is coming more games to catch up and to get in the right position."