Erik ten Hag said on Friday that Manchester United’s players “want to put this right” as he struggles to rescue a season that is spiralling out of control.
Manchester United are facing a crisis after losing five of their first 10 home games in all competitions for the first time in 92 years. The latest defeat was a 3-0 humiliation by Newcastle in the League Cup at Old Trafford.
The pressure is mounting on manager Erik ten Hag, who is failing to deliver results in the Premier League and the Champions League. His team is eighth in the domestic table with five losses in 10 games and is in danger of missing out on the knockout stages of the European competition.
Ten Hag, however, insisted that he had the backing of his players and that they were determined to bounce back from their poor form. He spoke to the media ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash at Fulham.
“They are positive,” he said. “They want to put this right. We know the standards here, and we have to match the standards every day.
“We’ve had two big setbacks, but we will fight back. This dressing room is strong, this staff is strong, and this manager is strong to put this right.”
The Dutchman, who joined United from Ajax last season, said he was confident that his players could improve on their performance from last season, when they won their first trophy in six years and finished third in the Premier League. He said it was his duty to turn things around.
Casemiro, the Brazilian midfielder, was ruled out for “several weeks” with a hamstring injury he picked up against Newcastle, adding to the injury woes of the club.
United have been plagued by injuries in defence, with left-backs Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia, and Sergio Reguilon, centre-back Lisandro Martinez, and right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka all sidelined for long periods.
Ten Hag has been accused of lacking a clear vision and style of play, but he said he was forced to make changes due to the injuries.
“The intention is clear, but definitely it’s the case that the execution isn’t there. But in the moment we’re in, with so many changes in every game, we can’t line up the same game every time we have to swap,” he said.
“Now we miss players in the back four, and every time we have to adjust, which doesn’t help the routines.
“And also, in the midfield, we have to adjust, missing Casemiro, but I never brought up these themes because we have to win, and I don’t want to find excuses if we are not winning.
“We have to be more pragmatic, but still, we have to win. That is a demand, and I don’t walk away from that.”