Man United ‘fighting’ to turn season around, says Ten Hag

Erik ten Hag said on Friday that Manchester United are fighting together to try and turn their fortunes around after a calamitous start to the season.

The Red Devils have lost four of their first six matches in all competitions, leaving the Dutch manager with a major task on his hands just over a month into the new campaign.

United travel to face struggling Burnley on Saturday languishing in 13th place in the Premier League — they have lost 18 of their past 35 away matches in all competitions.

“It’s my second year,” said Ten Hag, whose team last season finished third in the table and ended a six-year trophy drought.

“I know it’s not always only going up — you will have your gaps and you get stronger from it as long as you stay together, and that’s what we’re doing.

“The dressing room, staff, all the staff, coaches, medical, everyone is united and at United you fight.”

Stories of disgruntlement in the dressing room have begun to emerge while the attitude of players has also been questioned.

Ten Hag tried to paint a positive picture at his pre-match press conference, saying: “I don’t know if it’s a leak but I know the opinion(s), I know my players. Everyone can make suggestions, we are okay with it.”

United’s poor form has made the trip to Burnley a high-pressure occasion, and they will again be without Jadon Sancho, who remains absent from the squad after a spat with the manager.

It is unclear whether the former Borussia Dortmund winger will play for the club again.

“It depends on him,” said Ten Hag. “For the rest, we are preparing for Burnley and that’s our focus. He will not be in the squad.”

United have been badly hit by injuries. Raphael Varane, Mason Mount, Sofyan Amrabat and Harry Maguire were set to train ahead of the match at Turf Moor but Ten Hag was cautious when asked if they would be available.

Central to United’s problems has been a lack of defensive solidity, with 14 goals conceded in their past five games.

Goalkeeper Andre Onana held his hands up after making a mistake for Bayern’s first goal in the 4-3 Champions League defeat this week, but Ten Hag believes the problems are collective.

“It’s about the team and, as a team, we don’t have the results at this moment so then also individuals don’t bring the performance you expect, not only one player, there are more, including the manager,” he said.

“I always tell my players we attack with 11 and we defend with 11. When one or two are not doing their job, it’s like a pack of cards, so that is not only one or two players.”


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