Erik ten Hag & Bruno Fernandes preview Omonia
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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag made players train at Carrington before they jetted off to Cyprus for tonight’s Europa League clash with Omonia. The Red Devils enter the contest seeking a return to winning ways after a 6-3 defeat to Manchester City on Sunday. And victory away from home would put them in a good position when it comes to reaching the knockout stages of the competition.
Manchester United go up against Omonia hoping for a second Europa League win of the season.
They lost their opening match of the tournament to Real Sociedad, going down 1-0 at Old Trafford after Lisandro Martinez conceded a penalty that was converted by Brais Mendez.
But United bounced back last time out, getting the better of Sheriff in a 2-0 victory courtesy of goals from Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ahead of their clash with Omonia tonight, players were made to train at Carrington before boarding the plane to Cyrpus.
Images from Getty show squad members such as Antony, Fred and Casemiro working on their fitness, with the trio all hoping to feature.
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And United players also did some rondo work, too, as they look to become more of a possession-based team than they’ve been previously.
Ronaldo was among those who took part in the session, with the veteran hoping to start for just the fourth time so far this season.
And Ten Hag, speaking at his press conference on Wednesday, insisted his No 7 was happy to be at the club – despite regular action being hard to come by.
“He’s not happy that he wasn’t playing Sunday,” he said. “Of course, he wants to play and he’s annoyed when he’s not playing. It’s clear.”
And he added: “But when I tell you all the players, when you’re here and you’re happy, or satisfied, when you’re on the bench, this is not a club where you have to be, and especially Cristiano.
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“He’s really competitive, as we all know. He’s not happy of course when he’s not playing.
“But I already said and, I have to repeat, he’s training well, he has a good mood, he’s motivated and he gives his best. That is what we expect.”
Ten Hag has also insisted he’s treated Ronaldo differently because that’s how he can envisage getting the best from all of his players at the club.
“I think, when you’re honest, you know there is a difference,” he said.
“Nobody is the same in the team, I will treat everyone with respect but they all have different backgrounds.
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“I have to treat players differently to get the best out of them, but there are general standards and values that count for everyone.”
Bruno Fernandes, meanwhile, has admitted United ‘need’ a reaction against Omonia given the defeat to City on Sunday.
“Of course, everyone just wants to be playing again as soon as possible – we want and we need this reaction,” he said.
“And we have to show it [against Omonia]. That’s the most important thing – even if you do well in training, you have to show it in the games and I’m sure we’ll do it tomorrow.”
On tonight’s opposition, he added: “We know that they play really compact, they have a good team, a strong team with some quick players.
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“We have watched videos of them in the Europa League, in the previous games, and they’re always tough to play against.
“It won’t be easy. They haven’t won yet and we hope that continues and we can defeat them and get three points which is the most important thing.
“We have to control the games because we have the qualities to do that and I think we have to do more performances like [the one] against Sheriff, and I think we can score even more goals.”
United, should they win, will have six points to their name.
And victory in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford would also help the Red Devils into the next round of the competition.
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