Press conference and other interviews thread


Full Member
May 26, 2021
Barcelona press conference:

Early team news
"We still have training to do.
"I expect to have Maguire and Antony back. Anthony Martial is not available. He is back on the pitch, we wait for team training."
What can United do different
"What we do different you will see tomorrow on the pitch. We have an idea."
Any issues with how money is spent in modern football
"It is obvious, that there is development in international football.
"There are regulations, everyone has to stick to them. I am not totally informed on them, it is not my job."
Expect to have big matches so early in reign?
"Definitely. We all want to play big games, big matches. When we were young, we dreamed of it.
"We are really enjoying it, we are really looking forward and enjoy it. We have to give our best."
Dinner with Sir Alex
"It is massive (to have his support). I enjoy to speak with people with massive knowledge and experience it.
"He wants to share it, he wants to help and support. Manchester United is his club and he feels so committed.
"He wants us to be doing well. It was a great night."
Are United getting enough credit
"It is not about credit, it is about trophies. The next focus is always on the next game.
"We have to keep in the same mindset that every day we want to give a better version of ourselves.
"Against teams like Barcelona we have to give our best to get into the next round."
Biggest European tie since the 2019 Champions League semi-final?
"For me, it is always about the next game. To go back, I am not the one who is looking back, I am looking forward.
"Two big teams facing each other at Old Trafford. It will be a great atmosphere, ambience. It is the best you can get."

Varane also at press conference:

Verdict on the tie so far
"I think the first game against Barcelona was a very good game, top level, two offensive teams who want to press high on the pitch.
"The level was good, it was a good result for us. We could have scored more goals, but we played with character and personality on the pitch.
"We want to play with patience, discipline, patience on the pitch. We are ready for that challenge."
United's progress this season
"I think on the last month we grow a lot. I think we are playing with more confidence and tomorrow the atmosphere will be electric. We have to manage our emotions, be calm and believe.
"The next aim is to beat teams like Barcelona. It is a real challenge and a good opportunity."
What has changed since last season
"I think first of all it is the confidence. Secondly, it is discipline. Tactically we know exactly how we want to play, to manage the game.
"With a little bit more experience and the mentality of competition we have already improved a lot, and that is maybe the difference."
Barcelona injury news
"I don't know what Xavi is thinking. Obviously, Gavi and Pedri, great players. Their squad has so much depth, that they have players who can replace them and tomorrow it will be a very good team.
"If we want to win, we have to be at our best."
Barcelona absences
"Obviously they are important absences. But Barcelona have a big squad. We have to be prepared to compete. They can bring players in who can come in. We have to play the same, or even better to qualify."


Part of first caf team to complete Destiny raid
Sep 10, 2010
I just love the way ETH talks.

Always positive, relishing the competition. Respectful, but not over awed.


Full Member
May 22, 2017
Certainly sounds better than Ole's "trophies are for egos" thing he had going on.


Full Member
May 26, 2021
West Ham press conference:

Early team news
"Anthony Martial is not available. Luke Shaw and Fred are questions for tomorrow."
Ten Hag praises squad
"Let's make myself clear: we didn't win with 11 players, we did win with a squad and I think the squad the whole season is so important and every time players come in if it's for a whole game, minutes, a couple of games, also during games we can change the dynamics, we do it with many more than 11 players.
"So I count on them and I know they will be ready. Because every time they play they take responsibility and it's about that but you also have to fight for your position. There can be great months ahead of us and great games and everyone wants to play games. The players who form the best teams will play, so it's also for Maguire. When he plays well he can come into the team.
"It was not my perspective from the celebrations, I think everyone was involved, everyone was happy, and everyone had the idea we did it collectively, not individual or one, two three players did this. It was the performance of the whole team, the whole squad."
No extra celebrations
"No. Nothing beyond, eh? Get back to work."
Moving onto next challenge
"Of course, yesterday the players were still enthusiastic and they had to celebrate this momentum but yesterday after we settled down, we get back to work and did what we had to do, which was recovery.
"The ones who played less did a good training session."
Bouncing back from bad start
"I know from experience from previous jobs it takes time before you get into a way of playing," "before you get into the rules and the principles, you get routines into a team and, time is not always going with the right results.
"So when the right results weren't there at the start of the season. I didn't panic because I knew it was part of the process. You find out, you learn a lot in those weeks, when you lose it's not nice, you hate to lose.
"But you also get some good lessons and you get a view of what are the opportunities, what are the deficits and you can work on that and the way you play."
Not distracted by Liverpool clash
"I think every game is important. Every game until now, the dressing room had the right attitude and approach. You said it's the biggest game, but is Barcelona not a big game? Game by game."

Sassy Colin

Death or the gladioli!
Jan 29, 2010
Aliens are in control of my tagline & location
Part One press conference:

Next up is Anfield. Have you ever been to Anfield and if not, what have you been told about it?
"I've been to Anfield, yes. I'm looking forward [to it], I know the ambience, the atmosphere will be great. It will be hostile against us, and we like it."

How big a test of your team's mentality will this be?
"It is, of course, a test. But we're facing Liverpool and we're really looking forward [to it], I know these players, my squad, my team will be prepared to go and fight, to go with confidence but we know it's going to be difficult. We know we have to suffer, we have to sacrifice to get a good result."

You're 10 points clear of Liverpool at the moment. How surprised are you at the way they've struggled at times this season?
"I'm not talking about Liverpool, it's not my responsibility. I have enough do at Carrington, I have enough to do with Manchester United, so I have to deal with the performance of Manchester United and that's all I'm aware of and where I'm putting all my effort in."

You've had some really big wins recently: Manchester City, the final against Newcastle, Barcelona... but how big was that win over Liverpool right back at the start of the season when questions were being asked, in terms of giving the group the belief to go on this run?
"It's in the process. It's a couple of months back so we are now in a different process, a different period. I don't look back, I look forward. I look forward to Sunday and I really want to enjoy this."

When you first took over, you were asked about Manchester City and Liverpool's dominance and you said "eras can end." With the way you're now playing, and how Arsenal have done this season, do you think that era of just those two at the top is now over?
"There's always a pattern, it never goes consistently [upward] in a way, it's fluid. I'm sure Liverpool has really good management, a really good way of playing, good philosophy, good strategy, I don't think so [the era is over]. But, once again, we are not talking about other clubs, we are talking about us and I think we are in a good direction and with our philosophy, strategy and culture, we have to keep getting progress. It's all about that."

Are the players recognisable to you? Bear in mind the comparison to the players you started with and how they've grown over the last few months...
"We don't have to compare. It's about the future, it's about now. We're facing a fantastic opponent and we're looking forward, so it's all about us to get the right preparation and to be ready for that game."

There's a lot of talk about the tactics you employ and the differences you've brought to Manchester United. How do you make players hungry again?
"It is difficult to say in a few words or a few sentences. It's more about the total package. It's more like philosophy, culture, strategy, and to bring that consistently forward day by day."

You've got a fantastic record this season at Old Trafford: 19 games undefeated. But when you play against a big rival away from home, is it time to underline the progress the squad have made by getting a statement win? It's been seven years since Manchester United won at Liverpool, so do you feel the time is now for you to go there with the belief you can?
"Yes, but I think we had also away from home some good performances. For me, there's no difference. The pitch, everywhere, is the same size, there are three [officials] refereeing and a fourth [official]. The ball is round, there's air in the ball. So we have to play and make it our game. Of course we know the ambience will not be supporting us, and you have to deal with that. But as I said, our players like that. They like playing in such atmospheres."

What message would it send out to go to Anfield and win? Because you've lost at City, you lost at Arsenal...
"So that is the next step we have to make then."

Harry Maguire said after the game how you were quite hard on the team at half-time [against West Ham]. Was that just you emphasising that there can't be any complacency? You won the cup final and celebrated, so did you feel like a little bit of complacency had sneaked in?
"What I say was we are not playing [to] our standards, that is what I saw in the first half. So then I will be tough to my team, to my players, because I demand a performance. Every day I demand a performance and I don't accept when it's lower. I will criticise them and I will tell them what I expect, and I have to give the team solutions for how to win the game, and I think the performance in the second half was much better."

Do you expect to have the same squad available to you on Sunday or will you have anyone back?
"I think we will have players back. Yesterday [against West Ham] Luke Shaw was not available, so we expect him back. [Jadon] Sancho was ill, but we will have to wait and see how that develops but I think he could be [available] as well."

Does fighting for four different trophies become more challenging as the season gets to its conclusion?
"We like to play. We have energy from playing every third to fourth day, so we want to keep that going but think about it game by game, so Sunday [is the] next game."

There was a moment at full-time when Steve McClaren pointed to his head and said 'winning mentality'. Jurgen Klopp has always made a massive thing about mentality, he has called his team 'mentality monsters.' Do you think your team is getting to a point where you've got your own mentality monsters now?
"I think our mentality in general is very good. I think we have many leaders who set the mentality, who set the standards, control the standards, who correct if necessary. I think we are happy with this process, but we can always be better and that has to to be the approach."

Sassy Colin

Death or the gladioli!
Jan 29, 2010
Aliens are in control of my tagline & location
Not sure why part 2 was released so late, full transcript:

Hi Erik, I wanted to ask you about a moment at the end of the cup final when everyone was celebrating but Casemiro went to Bruno Fernandes to tell him off about not passing the ball to Jadon Sancho. Is that an example of keeping standards all the time that you want to see, and having that mentality that you can always improve and do better even when you've just won a cup?
"Yeah, I think it shows we [are] winning a trophy, we are happy, but the players, they have the approach that good is not good enough. It was 2-0 so we could have won 3-0 if we make better decisions. And I think it's about that and it's good that players take each other in responsibility and set high standards and set high demands to each other and control them. So then sometimes you need a correction or you need a discussion so that player is aware of his responsibilities."

Have you ever had a player like Casemiro at Ajax or one you might have played with that set the standards in those ways?
"I had a player in Ajax who set such standards, but definitely Casemiro in this team, he is such a leader and he is so important for us. Not only with his performances, skills, like scoring a goal, or his header, or like linking up or intercepting balls. Organisation, the mentality, the culture, and we are so happy that we signed him."

When you arrived, you would have been aware of the United-City rivalry. Were you aware of quite how fierce the rivalry is with the [Liverpool] and were you aware of Sir Alex's famous 'knock them off their perch' quote? Did that crop up when you had your dinner [with Sir Alex]?
"I am aware of it. I know what a rivalry is and I know that the biggest rivalry for us is Liverpool. We are totally aware of it."

Do you think you are taking a team of warriors? Because you need warriors to go there as well as footballers...
"Definitely. We need strong mentality on Sunday, if you want win this game, yeah."

Erik, the game against Liverpool - the first one - for people in England who didn't know much about you it was the first time they realised, 'wow, United have a manager that can make big decisions.' It was a big decision to leave the captain [Harry Maguire] and Cristiano [Ronaldo] out of the team. When you are making these really big decisions and you know it's going to have a big impact, does it worry you?
"Yeah, I consider definitely. I have to see and to face the consequences of it. The impact from the decisions, not only on the short term but on the longer term, of course. But you don't always have a lot of time in that period - I remember we had 10 days - so I could consider which choice would be the best. But I think you always have to think statistically and [consider] what is the consequence on the longer term. And I am aware of it but that's my job and that's the responsibility I have to take."

It was a successful decision, but were you worried it could have gone the other way? You must've had reasons for making the decision...
"I had reasons, they were obvious. And I knew also the consequence and also when it was a negative outcome from that game, which always is possible in football. But I'm not worrying. I sleep well, also in those nights, and I have to take the decisions in respect and in advance of the team and of the club. That is my job and that is the responsibility I have to take and I have to stand for those decisions."

Just going back to Casemiro, it's easy to scout a player these days and see what they will bring on the pitch. Has any of his mentality and the way he sets the standards in the dressing room, his off the pitch stuff, surprised you? You mentioned you had a player at Ajax who set the standards for you - did you feel you needed someone like that in the summer that could be that bar at the top that the other players had to follow?
"I think when you go to recruitment in the summer, we were looking for players with character, with personality and it was not only about signing a player - there are a lot of players in the world that have great skills. So technical approach or they can run really fast. But we are looking for players who have character. Players who have personality, who have leadership, who take responsibility, who are resilient. So that was the type of players I was looking for after I made the analysis of the squad."

Has Casemiro surprised you in just how good he is in those attributes you mentioned?
"No, from these attributes absolutely not. I knew what a magnificent player he was. Just look through his profile. You see all the cups he won and that's not [a] coincidence. Like Rapha Varane and Casemiro, they won five Champions Leagues. That's not a coincidence, it's not like all of a sudden. For me it's always the same. You have players who win, and win always, and players who lose and always lose. Of course, you have to do your research and find that type who will win and who are co-operative in the dressing room to be humble but when they are on the pitch they take responsibility and you can sit on the bench and you are composed, because you know the players will do the job and will deal with the situation and will bring you the wins."

Hi Erik, just going back to the question about discipline. We spoke to Varane last week and we asked the change that you had brought to the club and he said it in one word: 'We are now disciplined.' Is that something you recognised when you came to the club, that for all the talent at your disposal, there was maybe a lack of discipline in the dressing room?
"It was. I don't have to lie about it. But top players, they like structure. They like structure on the pitch but also you need some rules and I think it's obvious in every organisation - and you are all also in organisations - when there are no rules, when there is no discipline in taking the rules seriously, you get a mess. You get a mess everywhere. Not only the football team, but also in the broadcasting stations where you are working for or the newspapers where you are working for. It's the same. It's quite obvious what you get because you see the trade on the pitch what's going on."

You're only time at Anfield was behind closed doors. Are you looking forward to experiencing the atmosphere as a Manchester United manager, because Anfield is a different beast when Manchester United are there...
"I know. I know. I've seen the games between Liverpool and Manchester United. I've been, I know what's going on there. I have been already in many hostile stadiums but it will probably be the worst - maybe. But I have been in other occasions too that are really hostile so I know what's going on there and I'm really looking forward and my players are the same."


Full Member
May 26, 2021
Betis press conference - 10 minutes late again :nono:

Ten Hag on lessons from Liverpool
"We have to set conclusions and we talked about [it]. We have seen the game, we have to reset and bounce back."
Did the players let you down?
"No, we are in the same boat, we do it together. We win and lose together. We made a mess on Sunday and we have to deal with that."
Ten Hag on Fernandes
"Yes, definitely [still captain], I think he's playing a brilliant season, he's played an important role in the position that we are. He's giving energy to the team, running a lot with intensity, in the right way. He's pointing and coaching players, he's an inspiration for the whole team. No one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes. I'm really happy to have Bruno Fernandes in my team and I'm happy with him as our captain with Harry not on the pitch."
Ten Hag on the response
"Yes, the players reflected well. We also know in a season setbacks will always be there. This was a huge setback, clear, but we had a run with 23 games with one loss and that was the second. It had a lot of lessons in it and it can help us in the future. We were really below average, especially mentality-wise. We want to win trophies and you have to act different. After Sunday, we got a big lesson, we take it and we have to move on, look forward. Use all the energy and focus on the next game."

Rashford comments:

Rashford on his improvement
"The main thing is that I came into the season fit. I was 100% fit, I had a good training camp before pre-season and then it was c change with the new manager, new staff and way of playing. It was exciting for me and I've not looked back since then. We've come on a lot as a team and won big games in our style and it's been a while since I could say that. We've tried our best to play our football."
Rashford on Liverpool
"Liverpool versus United is a unique game, it doesn't matter about form, it's a special game of football that is decided in 90 minutes on the pitch. Going in at half-time, it could have been a different game. I missed a chance to make it 1-0. They can take the game away from you and that's what happened. It's about resetting now."
Rashford on Liverpool collapse
"We didn't give up - that is nonsense. We were unorganised and communication was bad. It comes down to the fact I believe everyone was trying to get back into the game that much, we came away from the principles in and out of possession. I felt the forwards were trying to press, just the forward unit, and were disconnected from the midfield. We were talking but weren't in agreement on what to do. The only thing we can do is learn from it and move on. "
Rashford on Liverpool
"Losing against Liverpool is enough. The scoreline doesn't matter when you lose a game against Liverpool or any other rivals, it cuts deep, it's not nice, it's never a nice feeling but for me, I always remember how many games we've won against them. It's football and why everyone loves the game. It's disappointing but we can't dwell on it and look back. We're in a position where we're still fighting on all fronts and we have a lot of games still to play. We want to put it right."
Rashford on Fernandes
"I love playing with Bruno, as you can imagine. He's the perfect player to play with. He's been a good leader for us, even when he's not captain, which is always a good sign. He's helped other players become better leaders and the reality is that we can't be an organised team in terms of just one leader being captain. He's done a lot for us. I don't have anything negative to say about Bruno. As the manager said, nobody is perfect. I support him and I'm 100% behind him."


Full Member
Jun 16, 2020
Quite eye opening the admission from Rashford that while they didn't throw in the towel, the team couldn't agree on how best to approach the rest of the game as it started turning to pot.

While the forwards wanted to press high, the others perhaps wanted to keep things tight, and the difference in approaches opened holes in the team's shape which ultimately prove suicidal.