Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag says the chance to stop Manchester City’s treble charge provides no extra motivation heading into the FA Cup final.
The eyes of the footballing world will be on Wembley on Saturday afternoon for the first-ever all-Manchester cup final.
United head to the capital looking to end a promising first season under Ten Hag by winning both domestic cups in the same campaign for the first time.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) June 2, 2023
Neighbours City already have the Premier League title under their belt and are looking to lift the FA Cup a week before heading to Istanbul to take on Inter Milan in the Champions League final.
Lifting both of those trophies would see Pep Guardiola’s men join Sir Alex Ferguson’s 1999 treble heroes as the only English sides to achieve the feat – something United supporters are desperate to stop.
“I know what is the thinking from the fans,” Ten Hag said. “But what we want is to restore Manchester United by winning trophies.
“So, on Saturday we have an opportunity to win a trophy and we don’t want to be distracted by anything.
“If it’s important for the fans then it’s important for us, so we will give everything to win the cup.”
Asked why he would not use the chance to extinguish City’s treble hopes as extra motivation at Wembley, Ten Hag said: “Because it is not necessary.
“That will not give more motivation to the team because their motivation is already enough. That can’t be more.
“They want to win the cup and they have an opportunity. They want to set a crown on the season, so what do you need more? What is more motivation?”
This will be the Manchester clubs’ third meeting of the season, with City winning 6-3 in October before United triumphed 2-1 at Old Trafford in January.
Those were the first times that Ten Hag and Guardiola have faced each other in management but their relationship goes back a decade.
The Dutchman spent two years as Bayern Munich II head coach as the now City boss coached the perennial Bundesliga champions’ senior side.
Asked what makes Guardiola so special, Ten Hag said: “Oh, I don’t tell! It’s obvious we have seen what he is doing, he’s doing a brilliant job.
“What he can do is he can construct not only winning teams but also winning in a very attractive way, so that is why I think we all admire him so.”
Ten Hag says winger Antony is expected to miss the final and United confirmed earlier this week Anthony Martial would be absent due to a muscular tear.
The 27-year-old’s future is unclear after an injury-hit season but it appears the recovery time from this issue may hamper any chances of moving him on.
“It’s going to be a long one but how long we don’t know,” Ten Hag said. “We have to do more assessment.”