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Erik ten Hag explains why Newcastle clash is a ‘huge’ game for Manchester United

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Erik ten Hag praises Manchester United performance in draw against Southampton.

Erik ten Hag warns Manchester United players to be focused ahead of the international break

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has warned his players to focus on beating Fulham in the FA Cup before going into the international break.

The manager also talked about how the Fulham game closes a period of the season before the final part that resumes in April after a two-week break.

Having lifted the Carabao Cup this season, United are in the quarter-final of the FA Cup and the Europa League. Ten Hag would be wanting to beat Fulham in the former and stay alive in the remaining two cup competitions in April.

Erik ten Hag of Manchester United.
Erik ten Hag warns Manchester United players to focus on the Fulham game ahead of the international break. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Here’s what the boss said (h/t Manchester United website):

“It’s a huge game, just before the international break, but we want to stay in three [competitions] and we have to play our best and we have to prepare the team, and the players have to get ready. It’s going to be a massive effort but we are ready to do it.

“I think with this game we close a period, and then after it it goes to the final stage of the season; therefore this game is so huge and we know it.

“The fans are really excited, on Sunday it’s a big game at Old Trafford, they will be behind us I’m sure and we have to give them energy, give them celebrations, and we have to do everything to make that happen.”

It is a huge game because a win would give ten Hag’s men a chance to play at Wembley at least one more time this season. It would be special for the fans as well.

It won’t be easy against a dangerous Fulham side though, who have done exceptionally well in the league and would be targeting a Wembley trip for themselves too.

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Casemiro would be a big miss for the knockout tie against Fulham. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

We did beat with a late winner from Alejandro Garnacho back in November, but that is a long way away now. Moreover, the absence of Casemiro will be a big miss for a knockout game like this.

Ten Hag has used his squad so well that United haven’t missed the absence of key players a lot of times. This game would provide another test of that.

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The Red Devils have had an excellent period since the resumption of the season till date. With this period coming to a close ahead of the international break, it would be apt if the team wins this game and continue with that positive feeling for the crucial games coming up in April.