• Monday, April 22, 2024
businessday logo


Ten Hag dismisses dressing room row ahead of Chelsea clash

Embattled Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has dismissed reports of a split in the dressing room, saying he and his squad are united.

Ten Hag has been under fire in recent weeks following United’s poor form, with reports suggesting that some United players revolted after the Red Devils’ 1-0 defeat at Newcastle on Saturday.

But the Dutch tactician is confident he retains the backing of Manchester United’s players ahead of their crucial match against Chelsea at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

The Red Devils are seventh in the Premier League and at the bottom of their Champions League group.

United’s 10th defeat in all competitions led to some reports that Ten Hag had lost the confidence of up to half of his players, referencing concerns over his style, tactics and signings.

The Red Devils banned four media outlets shortly before Tuesday’s press conference to preview the midweek Premier League clash against Chelsea.

Asked whether he was concerned there was truth behind reports of player unhappiness, Teh Hag said: “No. Of course, there are always players in every team who are playing less, who are less happy… you have to wait for their chance, and that can come, but there are no issues.”

Asked if he believed he still had the requisite buy-in from his players to be successful, Ten Hag said: “Oh yes, I’m sure.

“But you can see, for instance, the comeback against Brentford, the Burnley game, the Fulham game, so every time the team is there, they showed great character.

“Great determination, resilient, so yeah, we are together.

Read also Sack race: Man United plans to replace Ten Hag with De Zerbi

“And you can see you can’t play such great football as we did lately without unity.”

Ten Hag downplayed the 1-0 defeat to Newcastle after the 3-0 league win at Everton and the 3-3 Champions League draw at Galatasaray and addressed the bans handed out to journalists.

“They should come to us first and not go around our back printing articles,” the United manager said. “That’s not the right thing.

“I think we have another relationship, and then they should give that to us beforehand. We have a normal and professional discussion and debate about it.”

“I always listen to my players,” the Dutchman said. “And I give them the opportunities to tell (me). If the players have a different opinion, I will listen.

“But they haven’t told me, or maybe one or two (have), but it’s about in general, so the majority want to play like this — proactive, dynamic, brave. That is what they want.

“You can see the players are behind it because of the performances against Everton and Galatasaray, and we are improving.”

United, who have won five of their past seven Premier League matches, host Chelsea on Wednesday.