“You can’t say that” – United boss Ten Hag defends his players’ spirit
Erik ten Hag has expressed his disapproval of Marcus Rashford attending a birthday party shortly after Manchester United’s 3-0 defeat to their city rivals, Manchester City, at Old Trafford last weekend. The Manchester Evening News reported that Rashford, who turned 26 on Tuesday, went to the Chinawhite nightclub with teammate Tyrell Malacia and a group of close friends and family. Although no pictures of the event were taken, Ten Hag, whose position as United manager is being questioned, confirmed that he had discussed the matter with the England international ahead of their crucial Premier League match against Fulham, which will be broadcast live on TNT Sports.
“Yes, I am aware of it, I spoke with him about it,” Ten Hag stated. “It’s unacceptable. I told him. He apologised and that’s it. For the rest, it’s an internal matter.”
In addition to Ten Hag’s criticism, Rashford is also facing pressure to improve after a disappointing start to the season. Despite being United’s standout player last season, he has only managed to contribute one goal in 14 appearances this campaign. The forward was benched in their recent match against Newcastle, where they suffered a 3-0 defeat and were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by the defending champions.
Critics have questioned whether this group of players has the character to turn the club’s fortunes around, especially after a run of eight defeats in 15 matches. However, Ten Hag dismissed these claims regarding Rashford.
“Your suggestion is not right,” the Dutchman responded. “He is very motivated to put things right. I know how much effort he is putting in. He is totally with us. He makes a mistake but it doesn’t say he is not fitting in. I see every day in training what he is doing, I know. So he makes one mistake but also off the pitch, what he is doing, how he lives, and I am sure he is doing everything right to help the team and to perform and to let us win.”
United will face Fulham on Saturday afternoon, and Ten Hag remains defiant ahead of this crucial clash at Craven Cottage.
“The players are hard to beat but in this moment, after two defeats, we didn’t show it,” he declared. “I’m convinced in the long term the players will be hard to beat and they know how to do it. We have to win and I don’t want to find excuses if we don’t win. We have to be more pragmatic.”
Fans can watch the Fulham vs Manchester United match live on TNT Sports 1 and TNT Sports Ultimate, with coverage starting at 11:00 UK time on Saturday, November 4. Subscriptions to TNT Sports are available through discovery+, BT, EE, Sky, and Virgin Media.