Carabao Cup final – All the details as Man Utd aim for Wembley

Ten Hag outlines importance of winning trophies for Man Utd

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Manchester United face Nottingham Forest in the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup as they tried to win the competition for the first time since 2017. The Red Devils are just 180 minutes away from Wembley a venue they last played at in 2020 for the FA Cup semi-finals. 

The Carabao Cup final will take place on Sunday February 26 however the kick-off time yet to be confirmed. Last season’s showpiece got underway at 4.30pm and it is likely to be around the same time this year as Sky Sports’ prime time Sunday slot. Liverpool and Chelsea played out a 0-0 draw last time out with the Reds claiming the trophy after a penalty shootout. 

The winner of the tie between United and Forest will play the winners of the other semi-final between Newcastle and Southampton. The Magpies must be considered favourites to reach the next stage after beating the South Coast side 1-0 in the first leg, with a second match at St James’ Park yet to come. 

United boss Erik ten Hag has been keen to stress the importance of the competition to his players with the prospect of winning trophies of vital importance to supporters. 

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“It’s the best feeling you can have, winning a trophy, and I have had the luck in my career to win some trophies and it’s magnificent, especially for the fans,” he said in his pre-match press conference. “It’s so great and I think the fans here have some experience of that, especially the older ones. In this period, Manchester United didn’t win trophies and it’s too long ago. We are aware of that fact and we have to do it again.

“It’s about winning trophies, so we have a good opportunity, but we have to go game from game. Now we play Nottingham Forest over two legs, so focus on the first leg. I don’t think further ahead because that will distract and so the aim for tomorrow is win that game.

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“It’s a long time since United played at Nottingham Forest [1999, when United won 8-1]. But I think we like that, it’s nice to play in front of a fanatic audience. It will be a good atmosphere and I think it will motivate the players and we have to get ready for that.

“We’re not successful for the moment, because in January you don’t win trophies. In February you can win one, so we have to aim for that and go for that. It’s more about getting in the right positions in April to go for trophies.”

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