MANCHESTER, England — Erik ten Hag has said Manchester United could face a backlash from “mad” Tottenham Hotspur players in Thursday’s Premier League clash.
Spurs were thrashed 6-1 at Newcastle on Sunday and were 5-0 down inside 21 minutes at St James’ Park.
– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)
The result prompted Spurs to sack caretaker boss Cristian Stellini and the players offer to reimburse the travelling fans, and Ten Hag said he is aware there could be a response when he takes his team to north London on Thursday.
“It’s obvious that they had a really bad defeat and they are mad,” Ten Hag told a news conference on Wednesday.
“That can be fuel for bounce back, yeah, but I said it is about us. An opponent can never be more hungry than us and that is how we have to prepare for the game, to be ready to go on the front foot.”
– Will De Gea dilemma force Man Utd to sign new goalkeeper?
Ten Hag is hoping to have Bruno Fernandes available despite the midfielder suffering an ankle injury during the FA Cup semifinal against Brighton on Sunday.
Fernandes was pictured with crutches and a protective boot but Ten Hag said there is still a chance he could feature at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
“We have to see how Bruno Fernandes is, we don’t know yet, he is a question mark,” Ten Hag added.
“It is more often that players be protected for prevention, but it has to settle. You have seen he played a full game and it happened in the first half. It is a quick [turnaround] but we have to see from now what is possible.”