Man Utd leak: Ten Hag encourages dressing room fights – ‘Concentrate on your own f***ing game’

Will Ford
Erik ten Hag after a match

Erik ten Hag “actively encouraged” Manchester United players to engage in “full-blown arguments” after the 6-3 defeat to Manchester City.

Ten Hag and the players were criticised for the humbling loss last weekend and the United boss oversaw a chaotic meeting on Monday in which he urged players to “explain their mistakes to one another”.

The Sun claim ‘passions boiled over’ in a ‘frank and heated’ analysis session, in which Lisandro Martinez and Scott McTominay are said to have shouted loudest.

A United source said: “Ten Hag asked each player one-by-one to explain their mistakes to one another.

“Some players were blaming others for not covering, which led to full blown arguments.

“One player told another to ‘concentrate on your own f***ing game’.

“It all got smoothed over but tensions are high. Ten Hag actively encouraged it.

“He’s told them he wants to see that level of passion on the field, not after the game has been put to bed.”

“Erik wants them to get angry. It was frank and heated and that’s what he wants to see.

“You’d be surprised if he didn’t encourage it. He wants them to have that fighting spirit.”

Reports earlier this week claimed the United players were ‘frustrated’ with new signing Antony, who ‘ignored’ Ten Hag’s instructions, and rumours of Cristiano Ronaldo’s discontent at sitting on the bench continue.

Asked if his United side need to be nastier ahead of their clash with Everton on Sunday, Ten Hag said: “I know nasty. I think also in that manner we can progress. Also play a little bit more smart. We have too many bookings. I heard at the start that the Premier League, but we get so many bookings and I don’t understand.

“The first booking on Sunday (Diogo Dalot’s booking v Man City after two minutes) I really don’t understand. We want to play tough. We want to get the game going. Then in the second minute we get a booking. It was a duel, it was a foul, but get booked?

“I saw many other bookings and thought ‘is that necessary’. But I have to take it to the players to look in the mirror. They have to play smart but they also have to play nasty as well.”

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