Erik ten Hag, manager of Manchester United, thinks the possibility to end Manchester City’s treble charge gives little added motivation heading into the FA Cup final.
The football world will be watching the first-ever all-Manchester cup final on Saturday afternoon at Wembley Stadium.
United travel to the capital with the goal of capping off a promising debut season under Ten Hag by winning both domestic cups in the same season for the first time.
City have already won the Premier League and are aiming to win the FA Cup a week before traveling to Istanbul to face Inter Milan in the Champions League final.
If Pep Guardiola’s men win both trophies, they will join Sir Alex Ferguson’s 1999 treble-winning side as the only English sides to do so – something United supporters are desperate to avoid.
“I know what the fans are thinking,” Ten Hag stated. “However, we want to rebuild Manchester United by winning trophies.”
“So, we have a chance to win a trophy on Saturday, and we don’t want to be distracted by anything.”
“If it’s important for the fans, it’s important for us, so we’ll go all out to win the cup.”
When asked why he would not use the opportunity to end City’s treble chances as added motivation at Wembley, Ten Hag responded, “Because it is not necessary.”
“That will not motivate the team any further because their motivation is already sufficient.” There can’t be any more.
“They want to win the cup, and they have a chance.” They want to win the season, so what more do you need? What could be more motivating?”
This will be the third meeting between the Manchester clubs this season, with City winning 6-3 in October and United prevailing 2-1 at Old Trafford in January.
Ten Hag and Guardiola had never faced each other in management before, although their friendship dates back a decade.
The Dutchman led Bayern Munich II for two years while the current City manager coached the perennial Bundesliga champions’ senior side.
When asked what made Guardiola so unique, Ten Hag said, “Oh, I don’t tell! We’ve clearly seen what he’s doing, and he’s doing a fantastic job.
“What he can do is build not only winning teams, but also winning in a very appealing way, which is why I think we all admire him so much.”
Ten Hag claims that winger Antony will miss the final, and United announced earlier this week that Anthony Martial will miss the game due to a muscle strain.
The 27-year-old’s future is uncertain following an injury-plagued season, but it appears that the recuperation time from this condition may jeopardize any prospects of moving him on.
“It’s going to be a long one, but how long we don’t know,” Ten Hag said. “We need to do more evaluation.”