Manchester United have made only two loan signings in the January transfer window with Deadline Day looming; Erik ten Hag said: "In the coming days, should we have an opportunity, I would go for it but it's not only up to me. I think that always has to be the approach at this club"
Saturday 28 January 2023 12:05, UK
Erik ten Tag is urging Manchester United to "strike" in the remaining days of the January transfer window should an opportunity arise.
The market for buying and selling players closes at 11pm on Tuesday night with United having only added goalkeeper Jack Butland and striker Wout Weghorst on loan deals until the end of the season.
With just four days until the window closes, Ten Hag believes the club "should go for it" if there is a chance to make a signing and has identified areas of the squad that need strengthening.
"In the coming days, should we have an opportunity, I would go for it but it's not only up to me. I think that always has to be the approach at this club," he said.
"Every day you have to get better so if there are opportunities to get better then you have to strike, that's my approach. I'm looking, doing research, I have an idea and have profiles to strengthen the squad."
United sit fourth in the Premier League and are on course to reach the Carabao Cup final with an FA Cup fourth-round tie to come on Saturday at home to Reading, plus a Europa League play-off against Barcelona next month amid a packed schedule which will see them play nine games in the next 30 days.
Asked if he thinks the fact United are fighting on four fronts shows they are ahead of schedule with the progress they are making this season, Ten Hag said: "That's good and that's why we need all the players we have in our squad, to develop them but especially to get the right results out of it. We want to stay in the competitions as long as possible. We have to fight for that and I think that's good for the development of the club.
"If we are ahead of the process, I don't know. Every day we have to give our maximum, we have to approach it that good is not good enough, we have do better so that we keep progressing. It never ends, we have to approach it like that. If you are ahead or not in the process, it is not that important it's where we are now. We want to win every game, it doesn't matter the opponent."
Marcus Rashford has been a symbol of the progress United have made under Ten Hag. The England forward rediscovered his form to earn a World Cup call-up before scoring 10 goals in the 10 games since the restart, but Ten Hag remained modest when quizzed on how he has got the best out of Rashford.
"I'm not Harry Potter!" he said. "It's confidence, every player has to make and get their own confidence. He fought for it.
"With my coaching staff we brought structure, especially in the way he plays. We gave him some routines for what he needed to get in the right position, but then finally it's up to him.
"When a player has confidence, then I'm convinced in the way we are working, the environment and culture is also important, the player can perform at their best.
"It's obvious Marcus at this moment is in really good shape, really good form, from day to day, training to training, game to game, routines are coming more in.
"The front line also gives me a positive feeling and is getting stronger. They can then take more benefit from each other. In the first season, we had many problems in the front line. Often we had games we didn't have players who were 100 per cent physically and mentally fit. Now I think it is much more."
Saturday January 28: Man Utd vs Reading - FA Cup fourth round, 8pm
Wednesday February 1: Man Utd vs Nottingham Forest - Carabao Cup semi-final second leg, live on Sky Sports; 8pm
Saturday February 4: Man Utd vs Crystal Palace, 3pm
Wednesday February 8: Man Utd vs Leeds, 8pm
Sunday February 12: Leeds vs Man Utd, live on Sky Sports; 2pm
Thursday February 16: Barcelona vs Man Utd - Europa League play-off, 5.45pm
Sunday February 19: Man Utd vs Leicester, live on Sky Sports; 2pm
Thursday February 23: Man Utd vs Barcelona - Europa League play-off, 8pm
Sunday February 26: Man Utd vs Brentford, 1.30pm