Ten Hag urges Man Utd to stick together during crisis

04 Oct 2023 09:00am
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag - AFP
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag - AFP
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MANCHESTER - Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag believes the Red Devils will work their way out of an early season crisis after facing questions over whether he fears losing his job.

United have lost six of their last nine matches after they lost 3-2 at home by Galatasaray on Tuesday.

The English giants have lost their opening two games of the Champions League group stage for the first time.

United are also off to their worst ever start to a Premier League season after losing four of their opening seven matches.

Ten Hag enjoyed a successful first season at Old Trafford, leading the club back into the Champions League by finishing third in the Premier League and ending a six-year trophy drought by lifting the League Cup.

"Last season went brilliant, terrific, more than we could expect," said the former Ajax boss.

"Also when we went into this project we knew there would be gaps. In this moment we are in a very difficult period as everyone can see but we (will) come out together.

"We are fighting together, we stick together, we are behind each other. Me, the directors, the team all together we will fight. This is not us. We know we have to do better and in togetherness we will come out (of this situation)." Goalkeeper Andre Onana had another night to forget as his difficult start to life at United goes on.

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He accepted responsibility for United's 4-3 defeat at Bayern Munich two weeks ago after a handling error led to the Germans' opening goal.

The Cameroonian was signed from Inter Milan for £47 million primarily for his ability to play the ball out from the back.

But Onana's slack pass straight to Dries Mertens proved the crucial point in the game as Casemiro dived in to bring the Galatasaray forward down and was shown a second yellow card on 77 minutes.

Mauro Icardi fired the resulting penalty wide, but made amends four minutes later by dinking the ball over Onana for the winner.

Onana was part of the Ajax side that reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2019 and helped Inter reach the final of the competition last season.

Ten Hag defended his player when asked if Onana should be dropped.

"Andre was in one semi-final of the Champions League and last season he was in the final of the Champions League, so yes he has the capabilities to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

"He's showed that and he will do. We have already seen in games his great capabilities and personality. When he makes mistakes, he will bounce back." - AFP