Man Utd: Ten Hag confident ‘common sense’ will prevail as Ratcliffe, INEOS consider his future

News Desk
Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag is under immense pressure after the Red Devils' defeat to Crystal Palace.

Under-fire manager Erik ten Hag is confident “common sense” will prevail as the decision-makers at Man Utd consider his future.

The injury-hit Red Devils suffered a club-record 13th defeat of a Premier League season on Monday night, with the 4-0 hammering at Crystal Palace the nadir of an increasingly poor season.

Eighth-placed Man Utd now limp into Sunday’s clash against table-topping Arsenal, then have two further league games before attention turns to the FA Cup final.

The May 25 meeting with Manchester City offers the chance to end a poor season on a high, but that success was not enough for compatriot Louis van Gaal to save his job in 2016.

Asked if he was concerned that winning the FA Cup may still end up with the same outcome that befell his fellow Dutchman, Ten Hag said: “No, I think they have common sense.

“They see when you have 32 different backlines, when you lose eight centre-backs, if they see we use 13 partnerships at centre-halves.

“When they see we don’t have a left full-back, when we have so many injuries, they know that will have a negative impact on results.

Of course we are not happy, but we know the reasons why we are underperforming in the ranking now and that is because of the injuries

“But, still, we are still fighting and it’s huge the FA Cup final, so we are very happy to be there. It can still be a highlight for this season.

“Of course we are not happy, but we know the reasons why we are underperforming in the ranking now and that is because of the injuries.

“I am a realistic person and I see this when I make this analysis and no team will perform when you have so many injuries in key areas.”

MORE ON THE MAN UTD MESS FROM F365
👉 Ranking Michael Olise’s nine summer options: Arsenal 8th, Man Utd 7th, Crystal Palace 2nd
👉 ‘Ridiculous’ Fred sale was Manchester United’s biggest mistake – and Ratcliffe is the ‘crap’ one
👉 Big Weekend: Manchester United v Arsenal, Haaland, Chelsea, Ten Hag, play-offs, Old Firm

Injuries offer mitigation for what has been a bumpy second campaign for Ten Hag, whose future is the subject of widespread speculation as ambitious Ineos make changes across the board.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s team are heading into their first summer as head of football operations at United and have kept their cards close to their chest on the manager’s future.

Ten Hag brushed aside suggestions that it would be beneficial for them to publicly confirm he would continue next season, saying it is a “question you have to make to the owners, not to me”.

Put to him that the lack of clarity leads him to face a myriad of questions about his future, the United boss said: “That’s my job.

“I take responsibility for that, to speak with you. That’s why I am the manager, to give the answers.

“I don’t care if they do, or they don’t. I’m working on improving my team, to develop my team. That is my job here.”

Ten Hag’s immediate focus is fielding a team capable of laying a glove on Arsenal having sunk without a trace at Selhurst Park.

Erik ten Hag issues injury update ahead of Arsenal clash

Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay and Bruno Fernandes have returned to training ahead of Sunday’s match, but Mason Mount and Luke Shaw are dealing with setbacks.

“This morning Bruno was on the pitch and Scott McTominay was back on the pitch, so there are some players returning,” Ten Hag said.

“But also I have to report that unfortunately yesterday Mason Mount fell out, so he will not be available for Sunday.”

Asked whether anybody is definitely out of the FA Cup final in 15 days’ time, he said: “Not in this moment, definitely, but we have some doubts.

“We have some players really fighting to be available and that is so amazing. They all try, they are all desperate to play.

“Yesterday, Licha [Lisandro Martinez] came to me and he wanted to play on Sunday against Arsenal, but he’s not ready yet. He needs a little bit more time to go through the process.

“But he’s so desperate and there are more – Rapha Varane, Victor Lindelof.

“Luke Shaw had a setback in in his process as well, but there’s still a hope and he will fight to be available for the final.”