Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Erik ten Hag knows importance of Man Utd’s game with Fulham before World Cup

Erik ten Hag leads Manchester United to Craven Cottage on Sunday (David Davies/PA
Erik ten Hag leads Manchester United to Craven Cottage on Sunday (David Davies/PA

Erik ten Hag says the impending World Cup cannot be a distraction and underlined the need for Manchester United’s players to do everything in their power to beat energetic Fulham.

Sunday’s trip to Craven Cottage is the final Premier League fixture before the season is paused for six weeks and attention turns to the quest for glory in Qatar.

United enter the final weekend before the break fifth in the standings and looking to cap a promising start to life under summer appointment Ten Hag by defeating surprise package Fulham.

The Red Devils lost their last Premier League outing 3-1 at Aston Villa but bounced back to beat the same opponents 4-2 at Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup on Thursday.

“I think the players are all aware of the importance of the game against Fulham. I will not take the World Cup in regard,” United boss Ten Hag said.

“We play the best team – until Sunday, it is the interest of Manchester United and only the interest of Manchester United.

“That is going to be a really tough game (this weekend). I think in the Premier League everything is very close, and what I have seen from Fulham so far is really energetic.

“They also play really decent football out from the back – I remember the game against Liverpool at the start of the season – so you have to be really good there to get a result.

Fulham have performed well since promotion
Fulham have performed well since promotion (Danny Lawson/PA)

“We have to do everything in our power to get the right result – that is what we’re preparing now.”

Cristiano Ronaldo and Antony will be assessed ahead of the trip to the capital after illness and injury respectively.

Jadon Sancho has also been absent recently through illness and Raphael Varane is not expected to be involved due to a thigh injury that has not been severe enough to rule him out of France’s World Cup squad.

The 29-year-old’s absence increases the chances of United captain Harry Maguire getting more minutes under his belt before heading to the Gulf with England.

The centre-back started Ten Hag’s first two matches but a mixture of poor form and injury means he has only made seven club appearances since.

“I think that he is ready,” the United boss said of Maguire’s level as the World Cup approaches.

“I see him every day at training, I see his games. He came back from injury, but he is ready to perform on the highest level.”

United’s main headache at Craven Cottage looks to be at right-back given markedly improved Diogo Dalot is suspended.

The 23-year-old has been an ever-present this season, with back-ups Brandon Williams and Aaron Wan-Bissaka unable to lighten the load.

Diogo Dalot is suspended for the trip to Craven Cottage
Diogo Dalot is suspended for the trip to Craven Cottage (Nick Potts/PA)

“Brandon had a bad injury, and really struggled but he is in the right direction,” Ten Hag said.

“He is in a good way, he is back on the pitch and he will return to team training next week.

“He will go with us to the (winter) training camp in Cadiz, he will be available for the team so happy for him.

“Aaron Wan-Bissaka, he struggled as well, but in a different side.

“Some injuries, some illnesses, so he was also often not available, but he doesn’t have a real big problem. It’s about him (getting) really fit and to make competition with Diogo for the second half of the season.”