With his Manchester United side still in the thick of three different races and in the midst of a grueling stretch of games, manager Erik ten Hag says he will not prioritize one competition over another.
“We approach this game by game, what can we do?” Ten Hag said after Sunday’s 2-0 Premier League victory over Nottingham Forest. “We have to win. We are United, we have to win every game.”
United’s triumph over Steve Cooper’s relegation-threatened Forest at the City Ground propelled them into third to strengthen their grip on a top-four Premier League finish.
The match was also sandwiched between the two legs of their Europa League quarterfinal versus Sevilla. After a 2-2 draw in the first leg, United head to Seville for the return on Thursday. They play Brighton at Wembley in the FA Cup semifinals next Sunday.
“The points are getting more expensive at this period of the season, because they are all finals, they are really battling against relegation, they are giving their lives and this is every opponent, or they go for the top, so you have to really fight and battle for every point,” Ten Hag said.
Adding to the challenge of their breathless schedule is a spate of injuries.
United, who were already missing striker Marcus Rashford and defenders Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez, lost midfielder Marcel Sabitzer on Sunday when he injured his groin in the warm-up.
“Sabitzer came off in the warm-up, he felt something,” the manager said. “We decided not to take the risk, we will find out [Monday] what it is. But when you have [Christian] Eriksen on the bench, it is definitely not a disadvantage.
“Last week I had nine fit top defenders, now I have four,” Ten Hag added. “We need all our players, we are still in three competitions, we need all the players to form a top team.”
United have already passed last season’s Premier League points total, with 59 from 30 matches, and still have eight games to play.
Diogo Dalot, who netted his first Premier League goal in his 100th appearance in all competitions for United on Sunday, said his team faces a “big week.”
“Two decisive games, we want to be in position to fight for trophies,” Dalot said. “Now we have a chance to get close to a final, and to get to a final. Hopefully we win both games.”
They have already hoisted one trophy this season, winning the League Cup in late February.