Erik ten Hag (right) with his Manchester United players after collecting the FA Cup at Wembley
Erik ten Hag (right) with his Manchester United players after collecting the FA Cup at Wembley

VIDEO: 'If Man Utd don't want me, I'll win somewhere else' - Ten Hag

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says if the club do not want him, he will go and win trophies somewhere else.


United overcame overwhelming pre-match odds to record a deserved 2-1 FA Cup final victory against Manchester City at Wembley.

First-half goals from Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo were enough for a success that secured a place in next season's Europa League.

It came amid a backdrop of intense rumour that Ten Hag will lose his job, no matter what the outcome.

The Dutchman said he did not know whether the speculation was true or not.

But, after following up last season's EFL Cup success to become the first United manager since Sir Alex Ferguson to win trophies in successive seasons, Ten Hag struck a note of defiance.

"Two trophies in two years is not bad," he said. "Three finals in two years is not bad. I'm not satisfied with it. We have to do better.

"If they don't want me, then I go somewhere else to win trophies because that is what I do."

It is new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his Ineos counterparts who will determine Ten Hag's future.

Ratcliffe released a statement on the final whistle, expressing his pride at the performance of United's players and praising "the staff who work tirelessly to support their team".

However, it made no specific reference to Ten Hag.

When he was later asked, "Jim, is Erik staying?", on his way to the United dressing room in the mixed zone area - where players stop to speak to journalists after games - Ratcliffe briefly stopped and turned around, but proceeded without offering an answer.

Ten Hag did not follow the lead of fellow Dutchman Louis van Gaal. When faced with a similar situation eight years ago after United beat Crystal Palace - their last FA Cup triumph before Saturday - Van Gaal strode into the news conference with the trophy and slammed it down on the desk in front of him.

However, Ten Hag did make a pointed assessment of some of the criticism he and his team have faced.

"When I took over we were in a mess," he added.

"The team is developing, the team is winning and the team plays to an identity. But you need a strong squad and the players to be available."

When Ten Hag was asked if finishing eighth, United's lowest league placing since 1989-90 and with a minus goal difference was good enough, he retorted: "When you make this, you don't have any knowledge about managing a football team. When you don't have players available, you cannot win."

Having said before the game he was going on holiday on Sunday, an interview with Ten Hag emerged on Saturday morning in which he stated talks had taken place with Ineos and they were committed to him.

Asked to clarify those comments, Ten Hag said: "Do I have to repeat myself 10, 15, 20 times? They don't have to tell me every week."

The 54-year-old added he was unaware of talks between United and his potential replacements, stating: "Maybe you have sources. I don't have them."


Ten Hag's defiant post-match mood was also clear in a pitchside BBC Match of the Day interview where he was asked if media criticism this season had been unfair.

"I think so," he said. "On the team and me as well. It was not right.

"I tell you [the media] this all year - when the players are fit, we can play good football."

Ten Hag is now responsible for two of the five major trophies United have won since Ferguson retired in 2013. And, in goalscorers Garnacho and Mainoo, he feels he is developing two teenage talents that can take the club back towards the levels they used to occupy under their legendary Scottish manager.


"When you see the last decade there were not so many finals and trophies for this club and not so many young talents coming through with high potential," said Ten Hag.

"We strengthen the squad by our coaching and training but we still need transfer windows to bring better players in and also players who are always available or often available because when the players are not robust enough, you cannot win trophies."

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