Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has identified the four players he is counting on to pull his side out of their current crisis.
United have endured their worst start to a season in over 60 years. Wednesday’s 4-3 defeat to FC Copenhagen left the Red Devils bottom of their Champions League group after four games, while five losses in 11 Premier League outings left them in eighth in the table.
United are far from down and out in either competition, but Ten Hag has called on four of his senior players to rally the troops and set an example for their teammates to follow.
“We have such characters who can do it [turn things around],” Ten Hag said on Friday. “I will mention Andre Onana, Harry [Maguire], and Scott McTominay, who in such moments show leadership.
“And Bruno [Fernandes], of course. We have enough players with character and personality to step up and lead the team.
“But it’s also on others to step up. Casemiro and Licha [Lisandro] Martinez are not there, so others have to fill in.
“I think we can step up, but the injuries don’t help us. So often you have to swap the back four and then you don’t get the routine. In such moments, it’s so important to have routines.”
Last weekend United snatched a 1-0 win at Fulham thanks to a late Bruno Fernandes goal.
Ten Hag will be hoping his side can take the confidence gained from that result into Saturday’s home clash with Luton, but after the Premier League newcomers held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw last weekend, he knows it won’t be easy.
“I think they have had some more good performances and results, so we are fully aware of that,” he said.
“We have to be 100 per cent fully focused on it in the game to win that game.”