Thursday, May 30, 2024
HomePremier LeagueTen Hag backs 'fighter' Casemiro to find Man United form

Ten Hag backs ‘fighter’ Casemiro to find Man United form

Erik ten Hag has backed Casemiro to find his form at Manchester United after a difficult second season with the club.

The Brazil international arrived from Real Madrid for a fee of £70m in 2022 and impressed last season as the Red Devils secured Champions League qualification and League Cup success.

However, the 32-year-old has failed to replicate those performances during a tough campaign this time around, with criticism of his ability to cover the ground in defensive midfield.

 

United have been vulnerable defensively this season, conceding more shots per game (17.9) than any other team in the Premier League.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of facing Coventry in the FA Cup semi-finals, Ten Hag backed Casemiro to find his form and refuted suggestions the midfielder is on the decline.

“I think we needed the six (holding midfielder) when I arrived here and last season Casemiro was fantastic. I don’t think he ever scored so many goals as well but as a six, a holding midfielder, a strategist, he was so important for the team.

“This season he struggled with a bad injury he’s never had in his career but he is such a winner, all his career he’s won. Everywhere he goes, there will be success, and I trust he will give his success. I know he will need games, he will be better, and I’m very confident about him. He is a fighter, that’s why he’s won big trophies. He’s a very important player and will give us success.”

Ten Hag insisted he is not underestimating second-tier Coventry ahead of this weekend’s game, calling the Sky Blues, who eliminated Premier League Wolves in the last round, a ‘dangerous’ opponent.

“We did our job. We are prepared so we know their team, know how they play, know the individual abilities of the players and know the manager. He is a former United player, a striker, he’s doing a fantastic job over there so we know a lot about them.

“Of course they are dangerous, they are in the semi-final, then it’s logical. Last season they were not far away from promotion to the Premier League so they’re doing a fantastic job over there. We have seen the game against Wolves in the quarter-final, the mentality is fabulous. We have to play to our best levels.

 

Asked if FA Cup success would salvage his side’s season, Ten Hag added: “You have to always see the circumstances we have to face, but I’m not thinking in this moment about this. I’m thinking about Sunday, about how we go to beat Coventry City. It’s all about this and the rest is for later. We are planning for next season but for now it’s all about Sunday.

“Last season was last season. We want to achieve every season, we want to win trophies, we have a big opportunity because we are in a semi-final but it’s a huge challenge. We know all the problems and always when you have so many problems you have to find solutions, so on Sunday we will find solutions and we want to go into the final.”

Read – Six talking points ahead of the Premier League weekend

See more – Fantasy Premier League: Four transfers to target for GW34

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