Erik ten Hag says Man United have learned hard lessons from Man City’s beatings

Erik ten Hag says Man United were taught a “lesson” in October’s 6-3 win over Man City… but he insists revenge will not matter if they face the in-form Red Devils again

Erik ten Hag insists Manchester United have learned the lessons of their 6-3 win over Manchester City as the two rivals prepare for another clash.

Phil Foden and Erling Haaland both scored hat-tricks as United were beaten at the Etihad Stadium on October 2.

Since then, United’s fortunes have improved and they sit fourth in the Premier League ahead of Saturday’s derby at Old Trafford – just four points behind second-placed City.

Man United were humiliated by their rivals City in October in a 6-3 win at the Etihad

Man United were humiliated by their rivals City in October in a 6-3 win at the Etihad

Phil Foden and Erling Haaland both scored hat-tricks that afternoon as City went on a rampage

Phil Foden and Erling Haaland both scored hat-tricks that afternoon as City went on a rampage

Ten Hag’s side have won their last eight games in all competitions and progressed in both the FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

“It was a lesson, we learned the lesson and from that point on we’ve made a lot of progress, so we have to keep progressing,” said Ten Hag of the teams’ last meeting.

“This game was a setback, we can find all the reasons why, but it’s always about having to act and deliver.

“As a manager, as a coach, you have to go through certain steps, you need a clear philosophy, a clear point of where you want to go … a direction.

“Then it’s about development and that’s what we’ve done, but like a lot of things in life and football in particular, there’s never an end.”

Erik ten Hags United have improved since then and are on course to finish in the top four

Erik ten Hags United have improved since then and are on course to finish in the top four

Victor Lindelof, Bruno Fernandes and Antony look dejected during the 6-3 defeat at the Etihad

Victor Lindelof, Bruno Fernandes and Antony look dejected during the 6-3 defeat at the Etihad

Man United games

Premier League unless otherwise stated

Saturday Manchester City (H)

Wednesday Crystal Palace (A)

22nd of January Arsenal (A)

24th/25th January Nottingham Forest (A)

Carabao Cup semifinals, first leg

January 28th Read (H)

FA Cup fourth round

January 31/January 1 February Nottingham Forest (H)

Carabao Cup semifinals, second leg

The Netherlands manager insisted his side will not be motivated by revenge when they face City again on Saturday.

“It’s not about this game anymore, that’s in the past. It’s about the future. You can’t change the past, but you can change the future,” he said.

Pep Guardiola’s City have looked more fallible in recent games, losing 2-1 at home to Brentford just before the World Cup break.

They also lost two points in their title fight when they drew 1-1 at home to Everton on New Year’s Eve and Southampton took them to the Carabao Cup in midweek.

“I’m not looking but of course we realize they’ve suffered a setback and I’ve seen a lot of their games but we have to look at ourselves and play our best game,” said the United manager.

“It’s all about us. The opponent plays an important role in football, but you have to show your best game. That’s what I ask of my players – play your best game with conviction, not naively, and act like a winner.”

Ten Hag confirmed that new loanee Wout Weghorst will not be available for Saturday’s game.

He also said midfielder Donny van de Beek will be out for the rest of the season with a serious knee injury sustained in the recent win against Bournemouth.

Diogo Dalot will miss the game and Anthony Martial will have a late fitness check after breaking his leg.

City suffered a rare setback when they were knocked out of the Carabao Cup midweek

City suffered a rare setback when they were knocked out of the Carabao Cup midweek

Donny van de Beek left the field injured and in tears in Manchester United's win over Bournemouth in the Premier League on January 3

Donny van de Beek left the field injured and in tears in Manchester United’s win over Bournemouth in the Premier League on January 3

The Dutch midfielder is out for the rest of the season with his latest setback

The Dutch midfielder is out for the rest of the season with his latest setback

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Maureen Mackey

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