Erik ten Hag details ‘next step’ for Manchester United revolution
Erik ten Hag believes winning at Anfield is “the next step” for Manchester United in their revival as he looks for a defining away win.
The Dutchman won his first trophy as United manager when they beat Newcastle in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final while he has secured a series of major scalps at Old Trafford by defeating Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City and Barcelona.
But while United have not overcome any of the Premier League’s top six on the road, Ten Hag feels his team are capable of it and urged them to suffer and sacrifice to get United’s first victory at Anfield since January 2016.
He said: “Away from home, we’ve had some really good performances. For me it’s no different – the pitch is the same size everywhere, there are three referees, there’s a fourth [official], the ball is round, there is air in the ball?
“So we have to play and to make it our game. Of course we know the ambience will not be supporting us and you have to deal with that. But our players, they like it. They like to play in such atmospheres. So that is the next step we have to make then.
“It is a test, but we’re facing Liverpool, we’re really looking forward to it and I know these players, my squad, my team, will be prepared to go there and fight and to go there with confidence. We know it’s going to be difficult, we know we will have to suffer and we will have to sacrifice to get a good result.”
Ten Hag is keen to experience Anfield as a visiting manager, adding: “I’m looking forward to it, the ambience, the atmosphere. It will be great, it will be hostile against us, but we like that.”
The former Ajax manager’s first win in charge of United came against Liverpool in August and he sees improvement in many respects since the start of his reign.
He explained: “It’s difficult to say in a few words or a few sentences. It’s more the total package, more like I said, the philosophy, culture, strategy and to bring that forward consistently, day by day.”
United expect to welcome Luke Shaw back after the injured left-back missed Wednesday’s win over West Ham while Jadon Sancho, who was ill then, could also be available.