Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is preparing for his first Manchester derby and biggest test to date this weekend as he takes his rejuvenated team to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City and former boss Pep Guardiola.

Ten Hag, who has been named September’s Premier League Manager of the Month for the rapid turnaround he has enacted in recent weeks, previously worked as Bayern Munich II manager under Guardiola in Bavaria and even has similarities to the City boss… hairstyle aside.

United haven’t actually played a Premier League match since beating Arsenal almost a month ago because of consecutive postponements relating to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

“Anthony Martial been training with the group all week, really happy with that situation. He’s performing really well in training, makes a good impression.

“Marcus Rashford also joined training, so we are happy with that, and for the rest maybe it’s only long-term injuries like Axel Tuanzebe and Brandon Williams, they are not available.

“The situation is that Harry Maguire is injured and I think for the rest we have some doubts.”

“I have to coach him and back him. I back him because I believe in him. I can see his qualities. Quality is there. Almost 50 caps for England, he has high potential. Then it is about him. We all believe in him.”

“It is an aspect of top football, it is an aspect of our work. We set conditions for that, we also have experts about. [Maguire] is doing quite well, but there is always room for improvement. If he believes in his own skills he will be back, and I am convinced of that. His abilities are really high.”

“I have played many derbies! I know what they are, what the rivalry, what they do with each other. I know it is the most important game in the Manchester area. It excites me. You do everything to win that game.

“I approach this by looking at ourselves. Manchester United, we want to win every game. The aim for Sunday is nothing else. We have to do our best and of course a good plan, and the execution.”

“We don’t play against Haaland, we play against Man City. We are convinced of our capabilities. If we act as a team then we can beat our opponents. That is the belief we need, and we need it even more Sunday.”

Listen now to 90min’s Manchester United podcast, The Promised Land, with Scott Saunders& Rob Blanchette. In the latest episode they discuss David de Gea and whether Jordan Pickford could replace him at Old Trafford, as well as Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw.

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