Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has claimed that his team are completely focused on the clash against Chelsea, adding that playing away from home has never fazed them. With only one point separating them, fifth-placed Manchester United will travel to Stamford Bridge to take on fourth-placed Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday (October 22).
United are coming into the match on the back of a morale-boosting 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur, while the Blues drew goalless with Brentford in their last outing. Ten Hag will be without Cristiano Ronaldo for the trip to west London, as he has been suspended after refusing to come off the bench against Tottenham on Wednesday (October 16).
Many of the questions at the pre-match press conference were regarding Ronaldo’s walk-off and subsequent suspension. The Dutch manager acknowledged the natural inquisitiveness of the reporters, but firmly directed their focus back to the match at hand. The former Ajax boss said (via the Manchester Evening News):
“I understand there are questions about that but at the same time it’s about Chelsea, we have a big game to play, my focus is on the game, the focus of the staff and the players is on that game. We have to win that game and have the concentration to play our best.” Ten Hag then played down the pressure of playing away from home, claiming Manchester United are never short of supporters, even away from home.
He added: “For me it is never an issue away from home. The pitch is the same size, 11 vs 11, there is a ref and we always have a lot of support from our fans. We feel strong.”
A win on Saturday would see Manchester United leapfrog Chelsea into fourth place in the league standings. The Mancunians are currently on a five-game unbeaten run across competitions, winning four times and drawing once.