I’ll do it – Erik ten Hag is undeterred by the magnitude of the Manchester United challenge


Erik ten Hag is convinced he will be successful at Old Trafford. The Manchester United manager has said he’s gotten over shaky starts before and will ‘get it done’ again.

The hope and optimism that followed a promising pre-season under the new coach have evaporated amid a sobering start to the season.

The Old Trafford giants started the weekend bottom of the Premier League after a 2-1 home defeat by Brighton was compounded by last weekend’s 4-0 humiliation at Brentford.

Erik ten Hag’s next challenge is Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool side (Jon Super/PA)

(PA wire)

United will be looking to avoid starting a top-flight season with three straight defeats for the first time since 1986 when Liverpool came to town on Monday, but early results have not shaken Ten Hag.

“I’m not here for me,” said the former Ajax boss. “I am here to help the club and to restore the club.

“I knew beforehand that this was a challenge and I wanted this challenge. I knew beforehand that it was going to be difficult, but I wanted it because in my career, wherever I started, the start was difficult.

“But I can do it – and I’m convinced that I can do it here too. That’s why I chose this project.

“I knew it was a process and I will consistently stick to the philosophy and plan we had and I continue to have faith in the collaboration I have with the players but also with the team around me, like the coaches and the directors.”

Ten Hag said he didn’t see the attitude and “fighting spirit” required in the humiliation at Brentford from the start, leading him to scrap the players’ day off last Sunday as they ran intensely instead.

“I made the decision on Saturday, actually during the game when I saw the performance,” he said. “It’s not the standard for Man United and actually not my standard.

“We have to change that. I have to face the team and the players what the standard is and that we don’t accept that.

“(The reaction of the players) is not a problem. I hope they’re angry, but angry at themselves and angry at each other for not holding each other accountable.

I wanted this challenge. I knew it was going to be tough, but in my career, starting everywhere I started was tough. But I can do it – and I’m convinced that I can do it here too

Eric ten Hag

“If I say it’s not acceptable, you can’t deliver for yourself, for the team, for Man United and for all Man United fans.”

United have agreed a deal that rises to £70m for Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro since the Brentford defeat and more irons are in the fire.

But the way last season’s performances have flowed into this season underscored the gulf between the 20-time champions and rivals Liverpool, who won 5-0 at Old Trafford last October.

April’s second leg at Anfield ended in a 4-0 defeat and a few days later interim boss Ralf Rangnick said United would need open-heart surgery if they were to continue playing under Ten Hag.

“I have no comment or reaction to that,” said the Dutchman when these comments were presented to him.

“I comment on what I see now and my experience this season. We did quite well in the pre-season, but the first two league games weren’t good enough. Clear.”

Monday’s game comes amid protests as United supporters express their anger at the despised owners.

The fans are at their wits’ end as the Glazer family and recently formed support group The 1958 lead their latest – and possibly loudest – protest against them ahead of kick-off.

It will be interesting to see how United’s players react, especially given the lack of leadership on the field, which was severe during the Brentford defeat.

“Often when the team attitude isn’t good, the leaders aren’t there because they’re the ones setting the example and leading the way,” Ten Hag said. “This is also a point on which we have to work.”

Asked if he spoke to Captain Harry Maguire about the need for more authority and leadership, Ten Hag said: “I always work with a group of leaders, not a specific one, and I’ve spoken to the leaders about this issue .

“It doesn’t always have to be seniors, but we have a core group that leads by example and takes responsibility.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/erik-ten-hag-manchester-united-liverpool-jurgen-klopp-premier-league-b2149697.html I’ll do it – Erik ten Hag is undeterred by the magnitude of the Manchester United challenge

Fry Electronics Team

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