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Other Sports'We are together' – Erik ten Hag slams reports of Manchester United...

‘We are together’ – Erik ten Hag slams reports of Manchester United unrest

Erik ten Hag has strongly denied reports of unrest in the Manchester United camp, insisting the team are “together” and lashing out at recent media coverage of the Red Devils.

United sit seventh in the Premier League table ahead of Wednesday’s meeting with Chelsea at Old Trafford, having suffered a demoralising 1-0 defeat to fellow top-four hopefuls Newcastle United on Saturday.

The Red Devils are also on the brink of an early UEFA Champions League exit following last week’s 3-3 draw with Galatasaray, and that pair of results has done little to stem criticism of United and their manager.

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On Monday, a report from Sky Sports claimed Ten Hag had lost the support of around half of United’s players, but he strongly denied that was the case in Tuesday’s pre-match press conference.

Asked if he thought the players were buying into his methods, Ten Hag said: “Yes. I’m sure. You can see it, for instance in the comeback against Brentford… the Burnley game, the Fulham game.

“Every game, the team showed great determination, great resilience. We are together, and you can’t play such great football as we did lately if there is no unity.”

Asked if there were any issues between himself and United’s players, the Dutchman responded: “No.

“Of course, in every team there are always players who are playing less and are less happy, but it’s no different to normal.

“I listen always to my players. If they have a different opinion I will listen. But they haven’t told me anything. Maybe one or two, but it’s about in general… the majority, they want to play like this; proactive, dynamic, brave.

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

Referencing Alejandro Garnacho’s stunning overhead kick in the recent 3-0 win over Everton, Ten Hag continued: “Did you see that goal? Do you think we can make the goal we did against Everton if the players don’t embrace it? What do you think?

“We are on a journey, a route, we know we are still in transition but we are going in the right direction, you see how we are constructing a team, developing it.

“The team is progressing, young players are coming in and you see the potential of how they can contribute to a very successful Manchester United for the future.”

There was a smaller-than-usual group of reporters in attendance at Tuesday’s press conference, with United banning a group of journalists who had reported on unrest in the Red Devils’ squad.

Sky Sports’ chief reporter Kaveh Solekhol, the Manchester Evening News’ chief Manchester United correspondent Samuel Luckhurst, Rob Dawson of ESPN and Mirror Sport were all denied entry, with the club claiming they were not given an opportunity to reply to reports of dissent in the squad.

Ten Hag criticised the journalists’ coverage of his side, saying: “They should come to us first, and not go behind our backs printing articles which are not right.

“We have a relationship and they should give it to us beforehand. Then we can have a normal and professional debate about it.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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