Erik ten Hag says Everton will be ‘mad’ and urges Man Utd to match them

Erik Ten Hag Says Everton Will Be ‘Mad’ And Urges Man Utd To Match Them
Ten Hag is expecting Goodison Park to be a bearpit on Sunday but is determined his players will not be outmuscled.
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By Jamie Gardner, PA Chief Sports Reporter

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag knows Everton’s players and fans will be “mad” about the 10-point penalty imposed on the club and has challenged his team to meet fire with fire on Sunday.

United make the short trip to Goodison Park this weekend to face a Toffees team fuelled by a sense of injustice after an independent commission imposed the sanction on the club a week ago for a breach of Premier League profitability and sustainability rules.


For the Red Devils, it is the first of three challenging away games in the space of six days.

Sean Dyche's side have been hit with a 10-point deduction
Sean Dyche’s side have been hit with a 10-point deduction. Photo: Ben Whitley/PA. 

On Wednesday they travel to Turkey to face Galatasaray knowing a defeat will end their hopes of reaching the Champions League last 16, before a trip to take on Newcastle a week on Saturday.


Ten Hag is expecting Goodison Park to be a bearpit on Sunday but is determined his players will not be outmuscled.

“It’s always about us, I can see the opposition and I can see they are mad, but then finally it’s about us,” he said at a press conference on Friday afternoon.

“If they are mad and that’s their fuel, we have to match those standards. When we match the standards we have a very good chance to win the game.”



United head into the game in good Premier League form, having won four out of their last five matches.

They are boosted by the return of England international Luke Shaw from a thigh muscle injury which has sidelined him since August.


Goalkeeper Andre Onana has overcome a knock suffered on international duty with Cameroon, but a decision will be taken on Saturday about whether Rasmus Hojlund can feature.

The Dane suffered a muscle strain in the second half of the win over Luton just before the November international break.

Hojlund’s international team-mate Christian Eriksen will not be available due to a knee injury, while central defender Jonny Evans is not ready to return yet from a thigh problem.

Luke Shaw is fit again after being sidelined since August
Luke Shaw is fit again after being sidelined since August. Photo: Nick Potts/PA. 

Asked about the importance of Shaw’s return, Ten Hag said: “You can mention many things, you can mention his physical and his technical ability, his leadership.

“It’s clear, a long time in the season we didn’t have a left full-back so yes, we’re very happy he’s back. That’s a good sign and he will help us (to be) more stable.”

There have been suggestions of a fallout between Ten Hag and centre-back Raphael Varane, reportedly stemming back to the Dutchman’s decision to pick Evans ahead of him for the Manchester derby last month for tactical reasons.

Ten Hag denied there was any issue between him and the Frenchman, adding: “I don’t know what you’re talking about (with) these rumours. He’s a very important player, but there’s internal competition and that (is how it) should be at a top club as we are. There is internal competition.

“When you have to decide on two players, who do brilliant – Rapha Varane and Harry Maguire, you have to make a choice for the position.”

Rasmus Hojlund (left) and Marcus Rashford
Rasmus Hojlund (left) and Marcus Rashford. Photo: Richard Sellers/PA. 

United are comfortably the lowest scorers in the Premier League’s top 10 with just 13 goals from their 12 matches so far, but Ten Hag is adamant his forwards will hit their stride.

“Our players are able to score goals – they showed it already,” the Dutch boss said.

“(Marcus) Rashford scored 30 goals last season. Rasmus Hojlund has scored five goals in the Champions League. That is massive. There are not many players across Europe who can deliver that.

“Our players are capable of scoring goals and there will come a point when they do. We are fifth in the league in creating chances. We have to step up, and we will do that. Our players have the ability to score goals.”

Ten Hag will serve a touchline ban on Sunday after accumulating three yellow cards.

“Many decisions are against us – I saw a list, we are 18th in the league, but still I have to accept that. But I have an advantage (of being banned from the touchline) – I have a better overview.”

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