Erik ten Hag is staying focused as he targets Man United first silverware in six years

Erik ten Hag is refusing to get carried away by Manchester United’s progress in his first season at Old Trafford, warning: ‘It’s not about credit, it’s about trophies.’

United face Barcelona for a place in the last 16 of the Europa League at Old Trafford on Thursday night after winning he first leg 2-1 at the Nou Camp, and then meet Newcastle in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.

Ten Hag’s side have also emerged as Premier League title contenders after closing the gap on Arsenal and Manchester City at the top of the table.

But the Dutchman is staying focused as he tries to deliver United’s first silverware since Jose Mourinho won the Europa League and EFL Cup in 2017. Ten Hag believes United will have to play their best game of the season to complete the job against Barca.

‘It’s not about credit, it’s about trophies,’ he said. ‘We have the opportunity but the first focus point is the next game, and in that league we can’t win a trophy this week.

‘We have to go from game and game, keep the same mind-set, and every day give a better version of ourselves. When you face a big team like Barcelona, you have to play your best. We have to give the best performance of the season. We believe in it, we’re looking forward to it, so we have to give a lot of energy.

‘We all want to play big games. When we were young, we dreamt of it. We are in the position. It’s February and big games are coming up. We enjoy it, we’re really excited and we have to give our best.’

Ten Hag confirmed that Antony and Harry Maguire are fit enough to rejoin the squad, although Anthony Martial will not be available despite returning to full training.

Barcelona hope to have veteran midfielder Sergio Busquets back after he missed the first leg through injury. Pedri has definitely been ruled out through injury and Gavi is suspended.

‘I don’t know what Xavi is thinking but obviously Gavi and Pedri are great players,’ said Ten Hag. ‘Although they are very young, they have already had a positive effect on Barcelona. There squad has so much depth, they have players who can replace them. If we want to win we have to be at our very best.’

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