Erik ten Hag joke speaks volumes after Man Utd cup success

Man Utd v Newcastle: Carabao Cup final pictures

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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag had the room cracking up after his post-match press conference as he immediately cast his mind forward to FA Cup glory. The Dutchman is off the mark at Old Trafford after beating Newcastle to win the Carabao Cup final on Sunday. 

Ten Hag has been widely commended for the job he has done at United, steadying the ship and building a side with a distinct identity after a turbulent 2021/22 season. His work has already started to pay dividends as his side clinched the campaign’s first available silverware at Wembley. 

Newcastle are no slouches as they push for Champions League qualification this season, but United proved their class on Sunday with first-half goals from Casemiro and Marcus Rashford deciding the game. 

Ten Hag, who is seen by many as a ‘strictly business’ type of character, allowed himself to let loose after the final whistle confirmed his first silverware with the Red Devils. 

But he reverted to his old tricks in his post-match press conference by suggesting that his mind was already focused on scooping up another title in the FA Cup. Reporters initially burst out laughing when Ten Hag forgot to take the Carabao Cup with him upon leaving the room. 

After a sarcastic shrug of the shoulders, the Dutchman said: “I can leave it because next cup. This one is in.” United are still in contention to clinch an unlikely quadruple this season, which would be quite the introduction for Ten Hag. 

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An FA Cup fifth-round clash against West Ham is next up on Wednesday night and the Red Devils will fancy themselves to advance after beating the Hammers in the Premier League back in October. United haven’t won the FA Cup since beating Crystal Palace in the 2016 final. 

An exemplary run of league form has left them with an outside chance of surpassing Arsenal and Manchester City, too, sitting eight points off the top with 14 matches remaining. Finally, fans are full of belief in the Europa League after a two-legged victory over Barcelona earlier this month. 

“It’s about one man that has transformed a team from whiners into winners – what a job Erik ten Hag has done,” United legend Gary Neville told Sky Sports after victory over Newcastle on Sunday. 

“Players are out there that shouldn’t have played for Manchester United again but they are performing at a high level. They have a spirit and a fight. There is a real chance of winning trophies beyond this. He makes good decisions in matches – his subs were critical in making sure they saw this game out. It’s been a brilliant last few months.”

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