Erik Ten Hag has reported that his club would take a “matter of time” to enhance their currently dipping form, after a humiliating drubbing in the hands of crosstown rivals Manchester City, at Old Trafford on their high-intensity weekend showdown. The under-fire boss has explained several points ahead of their Carabao Cup fixture against Newcastle United, in a rematch of last season’s finale.
Erik Ten Hag- the under-fire boss
Erik Ten Hag- the former Ajax boss is under fire owing to horrible performances from his side this season. Manchester United, one of the legends of the English league, is suddenly facing a dip of form since last few months, and has several issues going on around the dressing room which seems to be affecting the fans and club board. Ten Hag’s misfiring relationship with former Dortmund prodigy Jadon Sancho, coupled with the absence of several heavyweights due to injuries seem to have taken a toll on the club’s performance. The last nail in the coffin was added by their rivals across the town, when Pep Guardiola’s side Manchester City handed United a heavy defeat owing to a Haaland brace and Foden masterclass. Surely after that, Ten Hag’s position could have been under the scanner, but he seems to have taken a stand ahead of his side’s Carabao Cup defense clash against Newcastle United, as the Magpies would be upbeat to defeat them in a last season final-rematch.
Although he did have a good opening season with a fourth place finish, coupled with a Carabao Cup triumph, this season it is telling a different story, as his side is reeling at the 8th position, and is not having a smooth season in the European top flight either, losing to Galatasaray and Bayern Munich, thus putting his position under scrutiny.
“High stakes”, says Ten Hag
While asked about the recent performances from his side, Ten Hag was prompt enough to provide a swift response. He was heard saying, “At Manchester United, every game involves high stakes. Every single day, there is pressure on everybody involved with this club, but those demands and standards are a challenge which we must always meet head-on.”
“While this has not been the start to the season that we had all hoped for, I am certain that we have the talent and attitude as a collective to move in the right direction.”
In their last game, Ten Hag’s tactic were also under question as he started veteran Jonny Evans ahead of the seasoned Raphael Varane, when asked after the game, was seen speaking about his change of tactics, thus Evans taking the field ahead of Varane.
He further added, “I believe that it is only a matter of time before we are showing our true selves. It will come, I am certain.”
“No point in feeling sorry”
Although emotions ran high in the aftermath of their loss against City, the Red Devils looked far calm and composed as he dismissed any chances of feeling sorry. He was heard saying, “There is no point in feeling sorry for ourselves at this moment in time. Nobody at this club enjoys defeat, particularly in a Manchester derby like last Sunday, but everything we have achieved together so far has been built on looking forward, which means we have to move on quickly from what happens, whether it is positive or negative.”
“We have never spent too long enjoying our victories, so we will not spend too much time thinking about our losses. We must always look forward, together. I continue to believe in these players and am confident we will improve after a difficult start to the season.”
Speaking about the derby loss on Sunday, Ten Hag explained, “On Sunday, in the first half particularly, we showed good defensive discipline and we created opportunities to counter-attack, but we were unable to capitalize on those chances at decisive times in the game. Important moments went against us and we were once again reminded that any mistake is punished at the highest level.”
“Before the derby, we won three games in a row and demonstrated our character on each occasion, so we have developed in recent weeks.”
Speaking about his side’s form in Carabao Cup, the only tournament which has been a high in Ten Hag’s reign, he said, “As we welcome Eddie Howe and Newcastle United to Old Trafford, our focus moves back to the Carabao Cup and a reminder of how well we did to win this competition last season. Our game management throughout that cup run, especially in the final against Newcastle, showed our ability to rise to big occasions – and tonight is definitely another big occasion for us. “
The reigning champions take on Eddie Howe’s Newcastle as the Magpies would look to strengthen their form over the Top six, as they had finished above United in the Premier League last season.
Ten Hag further mentioned, “We always want to do as well as we possibly can in every competition we enter. We know how good it feels to lift this trophy and, as holders, we want to get back to Wembley Stadium again this season and defend the Carabao Cup.”