Erik ten Hag has stated that he “doesn’t care” about Pep Guardiola’s tactical plan for the Manchester derby, after the Manchester City manager suggested that he has a “ridiculous” plan for winning the game..
Guardiola has since claimed he was joking when he said he had “a few ideas, thoughts, ridiculous ones against United,” but Ten Hag insists he is prepared for any surprises ahead of the match at Old Trafford on Saturday.
“I don’t care what he’s thinking,” Ten Hag said at a news conference on Friday.
“He did it more frequently, and we are prepared if he does something different. We have our football principles and rules..
City has won the last three meetings with United by an aggregate score of 12-4, including a 6-3 victory at Etihad Stadium in October.
United have won 15 of their last 18 games since that defeat, and Ten Hag believes his team is ready to compete with Guardiola’s reigning champions..
“If you want to win trophies, you have to compete with the best, and City are the best, so we’re excited to challenge them,” Ten Hag said.
“We have good players, but I am confident that our players are good enough to compete with all of Manchester City’s players.”
United have added striker Wout Weghorst to their squad, but the Dutchman will not play against City due to a hamstring injury..
Weghorst joins back-up goalkeeper Jack Butland as the club’s January signings so far, with Ten Hag hinting that more may arrive before the deadline.
“If there are more opportunities, we will be ready and looking for them, but it has to be the right player again,” he said.
“With the numbers here, I think with the signing of Wout and the development of some players here, Alejandro Garnacho is the best example, but you see in the week Kobbie Mainoo and Facundo Pellistri, I think we also have some good young players who can fight for their minutes..