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Carabao Cup

Carabao Cup Semi-Final: What the managers said

What Erik ten Hag and Steve Cooper had to say after the Semi-Final second leg

1 February 2023

As Manchester United reached their 10th League Cup final after a 5-0 aggregate victory over Nottingham Forest, here is what both Erik ten Hag and Steve Cooper had to say following the full-time whistle.

Erik ten Hag, Manchester United Manager: 

"Of course when you win a semi-final it's OK. The first half wasn't great to be honest. I thought it was professional but too slow and we didn't create too many chances. We allowed them to. The second half was much better, more tempo and we made some good goals.

"We were 3-0 up so I didn't want to give them momentum. They were waiting for one chance to get into the game. We were searching for gaps but I think Forest played well, defended compact and we didn't find the gaps.

"I don't think we were frustrated but we had to be a little bit smart. You don't want to give anything away so keep the ball. We should have done more investment like quicker switches and movement in behind.

"We just want to improve every day. I think we have a good squad so we have to demand and control the high standards. You have to bring that every game. We are Manchester United. When you are a United player you have to match the standards.

"We have had to make lots of compromises in the season so far so hopefully now they [all players back from injuries] are all available. If you want to win trophies, you need them all to be available. You saw tonight you can bring a new dynamic off the bench."

On facing Newcastle United in the Final, ten Hag said: 

"Of course we are looking forward to it. We get to go to Wembley and it's Newcastle United who are great team but it is far away for us."

Steve Cooper, Nottingham Forest Manager: 

"We show respect first so congratulations to United and Newcastle for getting to the final. Good luck to both of them at Wembley.

"The damage was done really in the first leg. We couldn't say too much before tonight but we did have two great chances in the first half.

"If we had taken one of those chances then who knows? But it was a good performance. We haven't played particularly well at the big away grounds but we did better tonight so that's a step forward.

"We can't look past the fact we got to a semi-final. The club is on an upwards trajectory, there's no doubt about that when you look at where we were 12 months ago.

"We are competing well in the Premier League and in a cup semi-final so we're doing alright. We're disappointed we haven't got through, of course, that was the main objective but we have to look further than just results and we're making forward steps."

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