ERIK TEN HAG has reassured Manchester United that he remains committed to leading them back to the pinnacle of success.
The manager’s position has faced scrutiny amid a challenging season, marked by 10 losses in 21 fixtures across various competitions, and with Chelsea set to visit Old Trafford next.
Currently positioned seventh in the Premier League, occupying the bottom spot in their Champions League Group, and already eliminated from the Carabao Cup, the team faces a difficult period.
However, Ten Hag remains optimistic, stating, “There will always be tough times in every journey.”
“We are in the right direction. I know we will get there, where we want to be.”
He points to his track record, emphasizing, “Because – see my record. Everywhere where I was, every season, I got my targets.”
“If we stick together, stick to the plan and the strategy, we will get where we want to be.”
Ten Hag, who achieved success at Ajax and had a promising debut season with United, securing a third-place finish and reaching two domestic Cup Finals, including lifting the Carabao Cup, emphasizes the importance of unity.
Despite facing challenges this season, which has led to questions about his support within the dressing room, Ten Hag is adamant that he has the backing of the players.
“Oh yes, I am sure. You can see for instance the comeback against Brentford, the Burnley game, the Fulham game, every time the team is there and have shown great character, great determination, resilience so we are together.”
“You can see you can’t play such great football as we did recently without unity.”
“We had a week of two good performances and one bad performance so from there we carry on, the team is in a good direction.”
“We played very good football, scored very good goals against Galatasaray and Everton.”
“Against Newcastle we didn’t play great, we knew that, we were not happy with that performance, but we stayed in the game and had two good opportunities to get a point.”
“But we are not robots, if you play three games in six days, tough games and by the end the fatigue can be an issue.”
The body language of certain players at St James’ Park raised concerns, indicating a lack of unity among some team members.
Additionally, discontent among players not currently in the starting lineup was evident. However, Ten Hag dismissed these issues as normal occurrences in any team.
“It’s normal, Of course there are always in every team players who are not playing, who are not as happy.”
“That is normal, you have to wait for the chance and that can come but there are no issues.”
Ten Hag emphasized that maintaining open communication with all players is crucial. Some have even challenged him on matters related to the team’s style of play and selection decisions.
He added: “Maybe one or two. If the players have a different opinion of course I will listen.”
“I listen always to my players and I give them always opportunities to speak.”