Erik ten Hag insists he DOES have backing of his Man United players

Erik ten Hag comes out fighting: Under-fire Man United boss insists he DOES have the backing of players and says they are going in ‘the right direction’ (despite Newcastle loss making it their WORST ever start)

  • Erik ten Hag flatly rejected suggestions players no longer back his methods
  • Defeat away to Newcastle United on Saturday has caused concern among fans 
  • United are like a rotten window frame that you paint over to make it look better, but the problem is still there – It’s All Kicking Off 

Erik ten Hag insists he still has the backing of his Manchester United stars as he battles the latest crisis at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag came out fighting on Tuesday in the face of speculation that a significant amount of players are turning against the manager and his tactics following Sunday’s lame defeat at Newcastle.

While the United boss admitted that ‘one or two’ players have spoken to him about his approach, he claimed that performances prove that the majority are on board.

‘Oh yes, I am sure,’ he said ahead of Wednesday’s game against Chelsea at Old Trafford. 

‘You can see for instance the comeback against Brentford, the Burnley game, the Fulham game, every time the team is there, showing great character, great determination and resilience so we are together. 

Erik ten Hag has rubbished suggestions that he has lost the trust of his Man United players

Multiple reports surfaced that Ten Hag’s methods were being questioned, but he insists players are bought in and the side is going in ‘the right direction’

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‘You can see you can’t play such great football as we did recently without unity.

‘Of course, there are a lot of rumours about the strategic review but it is not that we get distracted by it.

‘We are on a journey, a route, we know we are in transition but we are in the right direction. We construct a team and develop it. 

‘The team is progressing, young players coming in and you see the potential how they can contribute to a successful Man United team for the future.’

Ten Hag has had a public fall-out with Jadon Sancho and is also understood to be at odds with Raphael Varane. But he refuted suggestions of a growing mutiny at United.

‘Of course, there are always in every team players who are not playing or less playing who are less happy, that is not different to normal,’ he added. 

‘In some circumstances you need that, they have to wait for their chance and that can come. But no, there are no issues.

‘The team is progressing, how young players coming in and you see the potential how they can contribute to a very successful Manchester United for the future.

The abject nature of United’s defeat by Newcastle has caused concern among supporters

‘I listen always to my players and I give them always opportunities to tell. If the players have a different opinion, of course I will listen. But they haven’t told me.

‘Or maybe one or two, but it is about in general, the majority, they want to play like this: proactive, dynamic, brave, that is what they want.

‘You can see the players are behind it because of the performances against Everton and Galatasaray. 

‘You see we are really improving. You see that goal (by Alejandro Garnacho)? Do you think we can make the goal we did against Everton if the players don’t embrace it? What do you think?’

Ten Hag admitted that United were well below-par in the 1-0 defeat at Newcastle, but blamed it on a tough week in which they also had to go to Everton and Galatasaray.

‘We had a week of two good performances and one bad performance, so from there on we carry on. The team is in a good direction,’ he said.

Ten Hag is now preparing for a key game at home against Chelsea on Wednesday evening

‘We played very good football scored very good goals against Galatasaray and Everton. 

‘Against Newcastle we didn’t play great, we know that. We were not happy with that performance, but we stayed in the game and had two good opportunities to get a point.

‘With a little bit more determination, we could have taken something. Of course, we dropped but are not too far away so we are okay.

‘We are not robots. If you play three games in six days, tough games, by the end the fatigue can be an issue. Never an excuse, but it is there.

‘Against Galatasaray against Everton we played very good. Against Newcastle we were not happy with our performance. We are the first to say, the players are the first, they are so self-critical, they admit this. We know. We have to do better than this.’


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football, launching with a preview show today and every week this season.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube , Apple Music and Spotify

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