SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 21: Erik ten Hag, the gaffer of Manchester United, was seen observing the scene before the highly anticipated Premier League clash between Sheffield United and Manchester United at Bramall Lane on October 21, 2023 in Sheffield, England. (Photo by James Gill/Getty Images)
Erik ten Hag displayed a defiant attitude ahead of Manchester United’s upcoming Premier League showdown against Fulham on Saturday, expressing confidence that his team will bounce back at Craven Cottage.
The pressure on Ten Hag has reached significant levels after witnessing United suffer eight defeats in their first 15 matches across all competitions, a feat not seen since the 1962-63 season. Currently sitting in eighth place in the Premier League table, they find themselves 11 points behind league leaders Tottenham and eight points adrift of fourth-placed Liverpool.
When asked if Saturday’s match is a must-win, Ten Hag stated in his pre-match press conference: “I never think in such scenarios, we have to win every game. We put every effort in and I’m sure the players are ready to execute the plan tomorrow.”
Acknowledging the recent struggles, Ten Hag emphasized the resilience of his players and their ability to overcome challenges: “The players are hard to beat but in this moment, after two defeats, we didn’t show it. I’m convinced in the long term the players will be hard to beat and they know how to do it.”
The Dutchman dismissed claims that his team lacks a clear identity or distinct playing style, attributing their difficulties to injuries in key positions: “I think that is too strong. The intention is clear but the execution isn’t. At the moment we are in with so many changes in each game. We can’t line up the same for two or three games and last season was the same. Now, often we miss players in the back four and we have to adjust, also in the midfield. We are missing Casemiro.”
When questioned about the need for further investment in the squad, Ten Hag expressed confidence in the quality of his current players to turn around their disappointing start to the season: “I have a good squad and I’m convinced in the players in this dressing room. These players, as you saw last year, can do better and I need to let them play better. That is my responsibility. I’m not thinking about transfer windows because I have a good squad and we will play better when players return from injury.”
For fans eager to catch the Fulham v Manchester United clash, TNT Sports will provide live coverage. Subscribers can access up to four TV channels (TNT Sports 1, TNT Sports 2, TNT Sports 3, TNT Sports 4), as well as up to six digital or red-button channels (TNT Sports 5 to 10), and TNT Sports Ultimate plus TNT Sports Box Office HD. The match will be broadcasted 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.