Ten Hag sends warning to players over Man Utd ‘standards’ despite win sealing place in Carabao Cup final

Erik ten Hag, Jadon Sancho Man Utd v Forest Credit: Alamy
Erik ten Hag, Jadon Sancho Man Utd v Forest Credit: Alamy

Erik ten Hag warned his players that they must keep matching Manchester United ‘standards’ after the Red Devils booked a place in the Carabao Cup final.

United completed a 5-0 semi-final victory over Nottingham Forest to set up a Wembley final with Newcastle United on February 26 on a night when they were not their best.

Having led 3-0 from the first leg at the City Ground last week, the Red Devils made hard work of the reverse tie before grabbing two late goals to seal an emphatic triumph in the end.

Substitute Anthony Martial scored from 10 yards out after 73 minutes, before Fred added a second from close range to secure a Wembley spot.

United have not won a trophy since their Europa League success under Jose Mourinho in 2017 and have since lost in both the FA Cup final in 2018 and Europa League final in 2021.

And speaking after the game, Ten Hag told Sky Sports: “Of course when you win a semi-final it’s OK. The first half wasn’t great to be honest.

“I thought it was professional but too slow and we didn’t create too many chances. We allowed them to. The second half was much better, more tempo and we made some good goals.

“We were 3-0 up so I didn’t want to give them momentum. They were waiting for one chance to get into the game. We were searching for gaps but I think Forest played well, defended compact and we didn’t find the gaps.

“I don’t think we were frustrated but we had to be a little bit smart. You don’t want to give anything away so keep the ball. We should have done more investment like quicker switches and movement in behind.

“We just want to improve every day. I think we have a good squad so we have to demand and control the high standards. You have to bring that every game. We are Manchester United. When you are a United player you have to match the standards.

“We have had to make lots of compromises in the season so far so hopefully now they [all players back from injuries] are all available. If you want to win trophies, you need them all to be available. You saw tonight you can bring a new dynamic off the bench.”

Shaw relishing Wembley final

United left-back Luke Shaw also highlighted the need to get back in the trophy mix after booking a place at Wembley later this month.

The England star said: “Very special. It shows where we are at the moment. The boys are in a good moment and we feel the crowd are with us.

“It’s a final we can really look forward to but we have a few big games first before we go there.

“It is extremely pleasing but there’s no point going to a final if we don’t win it. It’s where we want to be.

“We want to get this club back to where it should be which is winning trophies. Newcastle are an extremely good team but it’s a big moment for us in where we want to go.”

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