Manchester United face a tough route to Europa League glory (Picture: Manchester United FC)
Erik ten Hag admits Manchester United have been handed a daunting Europa League oppostion after drawing Sevilla in the quarter finals.
The Red Devils booked their place in the last eight of the competition with a 5-1 aggregate win over the six-times winners’ local rivals Real Betis.
Jorge Sampaoli’s side are likely to offer a far sterner test of United’s European credentials, however, given their pedigree in the competition and Ten Hag is wary of the threat they will carry.
He said: “Back to Sevilla and as you say a very good record we have to be aware of it. It is going to be tough, they are very experienced in the Europa League, won it so many times so I don’t know the team in detail but for me the most important is football and I don’t look forward to Seville.
‘First we have international break and then three Premier League games so there is much time to focus on that so definitely so all the opponents are coming to this stage of Europa League they are strong and you have to play your best football if you want to go through.’
Central to United’s hopes of progression will be the form of Marcus Rashford who is honing in on 30 goals for the season after his sensational effort last night.
‘He was not in the best shape when he started the season, but the way we’re playing gives him a base and he brings his skills in to that,’ said Ten Hag when asked to explain Rashford’s rapid development.
‘His attitude and mentality is what is bringing him a lot of progress and brings the team a lot of joy and gives him a lot of goals and us a lot of wins.
‘I knew his skills. You also bring staff in around him, who can make him better and make progress.
‘Don’t forget others in the staff because it is about teamwork. The staff is about balance, they challenge each other and it is the total package and it is not about one person.’
With one piece of silverware in the trophy cabinet, United will hope to make it a treble of sorts by adding the Europa League and FA Cup to the Carabao Cup they won earlier this month.
Fulham will look to prevent United from booking another Wembley appearance in April, but Ten Hag is hopeful the mentality he is fostering within the club will ensure an FA Cup semi-final spot.
‘We have to set a winning culture,’ he added. We are Manchester United, we have to win all the games we have to compete in all the leagues, that is the mentality.
‘The mentality is when you go into a game you have to win it.’
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