Ruthless Erik ten Hag doing a ‘great job’ admits former Man United midfielder depsite near miss with Omonia

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Ten Hag backs Man Utd

Former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves has praised manager Erik ten Hag for his willingness to make changes when things are not going to plan.

Hargreaves made his comments following United’s 1-0 victory over Omonia Nicosia in the Europa League. Scott McTominay came off the bench and scored a late winner as the Red Devils avoided an embarrassing slip-up against Neil Lennon’s minnows.

Ten Hag’s men dominated proceedings on Thursday night with 70% possession, 33 shots, and 12 attempts on goal. Despite their efforts, United had to wait until the 93rd minute before breaking Omonia’s hearts at Old Trafford.

The United manager made four changes in the second half and even hauled off his three summer signings in Antony, Casemiro and Tyrell Malacia.

Hargreaves praised Ten Hag’s ruthless nature, saying on BT Sport: “He’s got his finger on the pulse. He knows when the team is not performing and who’s not.

“And if you’re not playing well he’ll take you off and make changes and you won’t play. There are only four or five players guaranteed to start, and now he’s made changes and those players (who came on) may play on the weekend.”

Ten Hag has already dropped the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and captain Harry Maguire earlier in the season. The Dutchman has proved he is not afraid to ring in the changes when necessary.

The manager seemed settled on his preferred starting XI after the Red Devils went on a four-match winning run. However, a dip in recent results has seen the United boss chop and change his starting line-up.

For example, Casemiro, Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial all returned to the team following the 6-3 defeat at Manchester City. Ten Hag’s decision paid off as United picked up a 2-1 win over Everton. 

“He hasn’t settled on his best XI because he’s got a big squad,” added Hargreaves. “But I think he’s doing a great job of making changes when he needs something.”

United are now looking ahead to their final nine games before the World Cup break. The Red Devils will welcome Newcastle and Tottenham at Old Trafford before a trip away to Chelsea.

Ten Hag’s men also face two final group games in the Europa League against Sheriff Tiraspol and Real Sociedad. The Red Devils need to win both games in order to have a chance to finish top and progress to the next stage.

READ MORE: Scholes claims Ten Hag was ‘frustrated’ with Man Utd after they avoided a ‘real embarrassment’