Your trophy, Erik! Ten Hag already eyes next cup

Erik ten Hag joked that he’s “already on to the next cup” after almost leaving the Carabao Cup trophy in his news conference following Manchester United’s 2-0 victory over Newcastle at Wembley on Sunday.

Ten Hag brought the trophy into his post-match news conference before answering questions on the game. After its conclusion, the Dutchman left his seat and headed for the exit, only to be reminded that he had left the silverware behind.

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“I’m already on to the next cup, this one is in,” he joked as he returned to retrieve the trophy.

The Carabao Cup is Ten Hag’s first trophy since arriving at Old Trafford in the summer. It ended a United drought that goes back to 2017, when Jose Mourinho lifted the Europa League trophy, and Ten Hag is hopeful his victory over Newcastle can be a springboard for bigger and better things.

– Man United win Carabao Cup, look poised to return to former glory under Ten Hag

“Every cup is big and I have seen the last couple of weeks and months the meaning in England and in Manchester United in our club, our staff, players, how they experience battles in our club,” Ten Hag said. “So it is a big win so we are really happy tonight. It has to be an inspiration, and it will help because it will bring even more confidence.

“As long as we don’t go over the top with the confidence, keep doing the right things, the right stuff, have that togetherness, keep going and working then we can win even more.”

Ten Hag also said he spoke to Avram Glazer at the end of the game after United’s co-chairman made a surprise visit to Wembley.

The Glazer family have invited offers to buy the club with both Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani and British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe making public their interest in a takeover.

“[Glazer] was really happy, really happy for the club, as an owner,” Ten Hag said. “So I really wanted [him] to be part of it. He was in the dressing room, very good he was there to show his intentions.

“I’m not involved in that process [a possible sale]. I think the way that he is here shows you feel that he is committed about the process. I have to perform with this team, this dressing room and others at the club are involved in the decisions about ownership.”

Goalkeeper David De Gea, who made some crucial saves in the win and passed club legend Peter Schmeichel for most clean sheets in Man United history, praised his manager and added that he felt the team was back on the right track.

“It’s difficult to describe and I’m emotional because it’s been so long without a trophy,” De Gea said after the match. “The start for a new era. The team is ready for everything. We showed today we can win trophies. So let’s enjoy the moment but go again. I feel the mentality of the team is a winning one.

“We are winning games and people are having an impact from the bench, too. Let’s keep the momentum going.”

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