Ten Hag urges calm in Galatasaray atmosphere

Clubs

Erik ten Hag has told his Manchester United players to “stay calm” in the cauldron atmosphere of Galatasaray‘s Rams Park.

United, bottom of Group A, will be eliminated from the Champions League if they lose in Istanbul on Wednesday.

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They will face a fiery atmosphere in the Turkish capital but Ten Hag has told his squad they cannot be distracted by any of the hostility.

“You have to stay calm in your head and don’t get too emotional and control the emotion,” Ten Hag told a news conference on Tuesday.

“Don’t give them anything, the referee as well. Don’t give them a moment they can take, so you have to stay away from such moments.

“You have to make it your game. It is not that important how the opponent is playing, it is how you are playing. We will make a good plan and the players, they have to decide.”

Ten Hag has been boosted ahead of the game with the return of Rasmus Højlund and Antony, who both took part in training at Carrington on Tuesday morning.

The Dutchman faces a decision on whether to pick 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo, who impressed on his full Premier League debut in the 3-0 win over Everton on Sunday.

“If players are good enough, they are old enough,” Ten Hag said.

“I think we are very pleased with the performance [against Everton] but it is one and you have to do it on a consistent basis. Kobbie is so mature and we are confident.”

United will crash out of the Champions League if they lose to Galatasaray and they will finish bottom of the group if the result is combined with a FC Copenhagen win over Bayern Munich.

They have won just one of their last eight Champions League away games, against Villarreal in November 2021 when Michael Carrick was caretaker manager.

“You can always find something,” Ten Hag said.

“Last year we couldn’t win away from home, now we can’t win at home so we win away games but now you say we can’t win away in Europe. We are confident.

“The last games away from home, it was very hostile and we played very well; calm and composed. This team also did it last year in Barcelona [in the Europa League] so we know how to deal with it.”

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