‘United should be in the Champions League’: Ten Haag, De Gea lament Europa League clash

‘United have to play in the Champions League’: Erik ten Haag and David de Gea bemoan the Europa League clash with Sheriff but insist the pressure is still on for the Red Devils to get a result after last year’s upset by Real Madrid

  • Manchester United face Sheriff in the Europa League on Thursday
  • Ten Haag and De Gea believe United should play in the Champions League
  • However, Ten Hag said there is still pressure in their game against Sheriff
  • Sheriff caused an upset a year ago after beating Real Madrid 2-1 at the Bernabeu

It’s a scene that makes Manchester United long for those Champions League nights.

Ugly gray apartment blocks tower over the tiny Zimbru Stadium in Chisinau, the Moldovan capital chosen to host Thursday night’s Europa League match because FC Sheriff’s home in the uncharted state of Transnistria was deemed too dangerous by UEFA due to war in the neighboring country. Ukraine.

The venue where a sell-out crowd of 8,800 fans will watch the match may have been built in 2006, but there is an unmistakable air of old school Soviet Bloc.

‘United should be in the Champions League’: Ten Haag, De Gea lament Europa League clash

Erik ten Hag’s Man United side are set to face Sheriff in the Europa League on Thursday

Although United have toured some of Europe’s far-flung outposts in recent years, the club’s first trip to Moldova will be a win-win.

No wonder goalkeeper David de Gea had the Champions League on his mind when he and manager Erik ten Hag attended a press conference in front of a handful of journalists in a stuffy old gym here last night.

“Of course, in my opinion we should be playing in the Champions League, but this is a competition we have to play for – we’ll go with everything,” said the United goalkeeper.

Goalkeeper David de Gea (above) had the Champions League on his mind when he and manager Ten Haag attended a press conference in front of a handful of journalists.

Goalkeeper David de Gea (above) had the Champions League on his mind when he and manager Ten Haag attended a press conference in front of a handful of journalists.

The win is all the more important for United after losing their first group opener to Real Sociedad at Old Trafford, which put Ten Haag's side under early pressure.

The win is all the more important for United after losing their first group opener to Real Sociedad at Old Trafford, which put Ten Haag’s side under early pressure.

When Ten Haag was asked by a local reporter if United would be signing any autographs after the game, he didn’t seem like a man who wanted to hang around much.

“We will think about it, but also after the game we have to go straight to the airport and go back to Manchester,” said the United boss. “The players have international duties and we have to prepare for that.”

Ten Hag will be hoping to go home with a win to make the trip worthwhile, but that won’t be easy against a club that stunned Real Madrid 2-1 at the Bernabeu in the Champions League a year ago and won 3-0 Away. in Omonia Nicosia in this match last week.

The win is all the more important for United after losing their opening group game to Real Sociedad at Old Trafford, which put Ten Haag’s side under early pressure.

United landed here on Wednesday without Marcus Rashford (left) - who picked up a muscle injury after the Red Devils' win over Arsenal

United landed here on Wednesday without Marcus Rashford (left) – who picked up a muscle injury after the Red Devils’ win over Arsenal

There is still room for error, but that hasn’t stopped the Dutchman from calling it a must-win game.

“The pressure is for every game,” he added. “It’s clear that when you lose the first game you have to win the second one. We know what our duty is.

They beat Real Madrid last year, they are capable of doing it. We have to be ready and prepared for this game. He is a serious and decent opponent and we have to give our best to get the victory.’

United landed here on Wednesday without Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

All four players are reportedly injured, with United sources dismissing speculation in Holland that Van de Beek has left.

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