Erik ten Hag believes Tottenham’s embarrassing defeat at Newcastle will be ‘fuel’ to bounce back when the north Londoners face his Manchester United side on Thursday.
United take on Spurs in the Premier League tomorrow evening in a fixture that could consolidate the Red Devils’ position in the top four. Ten Hag’s team are five-points clear of fifth-placed Aston Villa, with Spurs a further point back in sixth.
Spurs are without a manager after the decision to sack interim boss Cristian Stellini this week, following the club’s 6-1 humiliation at Newcastle last weekend. Spurs were five goals down inside just 21 minutes at St James’ Park and now face an uphill task to secure Champions League qualification.
Ten Hag believes that Spurs – whose squad confirmed they will reimburse the supporters who travelled to Newcastle – will have added motivation to bounce back in north London.
“It was not so often ago that we had to bounce back,” Ten Hag told his pre-match press conference.
“It happens with all the great teams, Real Madrid, huh? It’s obvious they had a really bad defeat, of course they are mad and that can be fuel for bouncing backing.
“It’s about us and an opponent can never be more hungry than us. That is how we have to prepare for the game and make sure we go on the front foot, be dominant and dictate the game.”
The Dutchman provided an update on the fitness of his Manchester United squad and confirmed Bruno Fernandes is a doubt for the clash. Centre-back duo Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez remain out.
“There are some [players] unavailable – Martinez, Varane. We have to see how Bruno Fernandes is, we don’t know yet. It is a question mark. But I think for the rest, we are quite okay.”