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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Other SportsManchester United boss Ten Hag confident he has the backing of Ratcliffe

Manchester United boss Ten Hag confident he has the backing of Ratcliffe

Erik ten Hag is certain he has the backing of new minority shareholder Jim Ratcliffe and believes they share the same ambitions for Manchester United.

Ratcliffe’s 25 per cent purchase of United was confirmed this week and he – under the Ineos banner – will control the sporting side of the club as well as committing $300million to improving infrastructure.

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The arrival of the petrochemicals billionaire is good news for United fans but it ramps up the pressure on Ten Hag to deliver on the field.

United go into tomorrow’s home game with Fulham in sixth place in the Premier League and on the back of five successive wins in all competitions.

A fourth-placed finish and a spot in next season’s Champions League would be a great start to the Ratcliffe reign but failure would see Ten Hag come under increasing scrutiny.

He said: “It will be always the case but I see the process and I see this team is developing and is progressing.

“We will do everything in our power to get to [the top four]. We know the reasons why we are not in that position. We are in a moment where every game is like a final for us.

“We have to be in the Champions League, we have that strong ambition. We are good enough, we believe it but we have to deliver.”

Asked if his ambitions matched those of Ratcliffe, he added: “Absolutely. We have so many talks. We are very aligned. We have the same ambition. We are very aligned in the process.

“There is no added pressure on this season because we have the same ambition and the same targets.

“I have been here 19 months and we are going in the right direction.”

United’s progress has undoubtedly been hampered by a crippling injury list that was starting to clear, only for striker Rasmus Hojlund to be ruled out for up to three weeks with an unspecified muscle injury.

The young Dane struggled initially at Old Trafford but has scored in each of United’s last six Premier League games, including a brace in last Sunday’s 2-1 victory at Luton.

Ten Hag said: “It’s a small injury but [he’s out for] two or three weeks. It is the risk of playing high intensity training. It is not a big injury, but he has to wait for one, two, three weeks.”

It could mean the likes of Amad Diallo and Antony get a chance to step up.

“All the players will get opportunities to show their qualities,” said Ten Hag. “We have the confidence they can. That’s why we constructed this squad.

“They will get the opportunities and it’s on them to contribute.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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