Erik ten Hag’s first pre-match Premier League press conference was short, sweet and pretty direct, but there were some key takeaways for Manchester United fans to get stuck into.
The Dutchman’s side take on Brighton on Sunday at Old Trafford, with the visitors weakened by the departure of Marc Cucurella to Chelsea late on Friday morning.
United have had a mixed pre-season – looking very impressive in spells and less so in others –
and the headlines have been dominated by their pursuit of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong and the future of Cristiano Ronaldo
They were the among subjects Ten Hag briefly spoke on, as well as the latest on Anthony Martial’s fitness.
Will Ronaldo start against Brighton?
“See on Sunday,” Ten Hag quipped.
“There were many players who left early and the spotlight is on Cristiano – that is not right.
Do your research.” the Dutchman added when asked about Ronaldo’s early departure from the pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano.
“I am really happy. We have a top striker. He is here and is in the squad.”
Is Anthony Martial injured?
“Yes. It is always difficult to say with injuries [how long he will be out for].
I hope it is not for too long.” Ten Hag confirmed.
The Frenchman is suffering with a hamstring injury,
having been impressive in pre-season after returning to Old Trafford following a disappointing loan spell at Sevilla.
Could Eriksen and Martinez start against Brighton?
“We need competition in the squad, but also we are going into a long season with a lot of games.
We need a lot of good players. They are fit enough to start.”
Will Man Utd sign Frenkie de Jong?
“I cannot comment on a player contracted to another club
. When we have news, we will bring it.”
On whether he’s happy with United’s midfield options, he added:
“I think so. As we saw in pre-season, we did pretty well there.
We have a good team. But we can still strengthen the squad.”
Is Ten Hag happy with Man Utd’s squad?
“That would be a good situation [to have transfer business done], but I am happy with the squad.
I am happy with the signings up until now. We are working altogether.
I am happy with the current squad and we need the right players.”