Soccer-Ten Hag not in need of assurances over Man Utd future


  • Football
  • Wednesday, 28 Feb 2024

FILE PHOTO:Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United v Fulham - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - February 24, 2024 Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag applauds fans after the match Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff/File Photo

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) -Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said he does not require promises of job security from new co-owner Jim Ratcliffe amid uncertainty over his future, adding that he is focused on ensuring the club continues to progress and improve.

Ten Hag was hired in 2022 and guided United to a third-place finish in the Premier League as well as the League Cup title in his first season, but their current campaign has been less convincing.

United's season has been plagued by inconsistent performances and injury woes, with the Manchester club in sixth place after their 2-1 league loss to Fulham on Saturday.

The defeat, which came just three days after Ratcliffe vowed to bring United back to their glory days, added to the intense scrutiny and pressure on Ten Hag.

Asked whether it would benefit the club for Ratcliffe to publicly confirm Ten Hag as United's long-term manager, the Dutchman told reporters: "I'm under contract for three seasons, so I don't care.

"I am in this process, I'm only focusing on the process, so I don't care what's going on around me," Ten Hag added, speaking ahead of a fifth-round FA Cup tie at Nottingham Forest on Wednesday.

"I have many talks with Sir Jim Radcliffe, also with Sir Dave Brailsford and others in that group, so I know what we are talking about and I have a strong belief and I feel that they believe in me.

"I want to win every game. I know I'm in a process, I know what I'm doing. I focus on those two points - progress of the team in this moment and the next game, and to think about the future, and to do that in togetherness."

Ten Hag's last chance of success this season is the FA Cup where his side face Nottingham Forest on Wednesday for a spot in the quarter-finals, but the manager is faced with fresh injury concerns.

"We have some question marks in our squad. Harry Maguire will not be available, Bruno (Fernandes, United's captain) is doubtful. Also Raphael Varane is doubtful," Ten Hag told the team's website.

"We have to watch and see what we will have and then pick a team, with the aim of course (of winning). It's an FA Cup game, so it's about win or lose. Black or white. We have to win and that should be our approach."

United are already without striker Rasmus Hojlund, who scored in six successive games recently before being ruled out for two to three weeks. Left back Luke Shaw is potentially out for the rest of the season with a muscle injury.

(Reporting by Shifa Jahan in Bengaluru; Lori Ewing in Manchester; Editing by Michael Perry and Christian Radnedge)

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