Erik ten Hag will hold one-on-one showdown talks with his Manchester United players on Friday, according to reports, as rumours continue to swirl surrounding his future.
It has been a rough start to the 2023/24 campaign for United. In fact, after suffering eight defeats in 15 games, it has been their worst start to a season in 61 years.
As a result of their lack of form and strategy, Ten Hag’s future has become a real talking point.
The 53-year-old is said to be on ‘thin ice’ at Old Trafford, according to a report fromThe Times, and a number of names have been earmarked as potential replacements, including Ruben Amorim.
Manchester United have played down the reports, saying it is “categorically false” that they’ve been exploring alternatives to Ten Hag, but one thing is certain; there is unrest in the United camp at present.
Ten Hag, meanwhile, is keen to improve squad harmony amid dressing room unrest. He has ‘ordered’ his players to take part in individual meetings on Thursday and Friday this week, reportThe Sun.
These so-called ‘clear-the-air’ meetings involve Ten Hag, who wants to have an open conversation with his players to discuss what issues they have with him and his staff, as well as fellow teammates and training sessions.
The former Ajax boss is ‘desperate to save his own job’ and has therefore moved to conduct these one-on-one talks.
Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay, meanwhile, has become the first player to speak out on Erik ten Hag amid the unrest at Old Trafford.
“I feel like the players feel that whenever we go back inside the dressing room – the anger is towards ourselves and also the anger is towards not pleasing the fans and giving them what they want.
“I can assure the fans that’s probably the most important thing in the players’ heads, we want to do it for the people who travel home and away and watch every single game and support us.
“Forget about all the people who don’t care about us and write stupid things in the media and try to divide us and all the other things. That’s not important to us at the moment.
“Everyone has to come together and, when the next game comes, we have to fight like dogs, that’s the way it’s got to be.”
McTominay added: “I feel like we’ve got more than enough talent in the changing room to do that and whenever you look at the boys who are playing, but obviously something isn’t quite clicking. That’s up to the manager and the players to fix that and I’m 100 per cent confident that we will.
“Of course, there’s more that goes into it when you’re not playing well and you’re not doing so well. I know the fans don’t want to hear that, they want to see results and performances and I think they want to see the players smiling and happy.
“It’s not quite happening at the moment, but I’m 100 per cent sure that the manager can put that into practice and it can come off. I’m sure of that.”
Earlier this week, after United suffer a 3-0 defeat to Newcastle in the Carabao Cup, Ten Hag took full responsibility for their latest poor result.
“We know this is not good enough. We have to take responsibility for it, I have to take responsibility for it. We don’t give the performance, so I feel sorry for the fans. It is below our standards and we have to put it right,” he toldSky Sports.
“We have to recover from it but we have to quickly recover – Saturday is the next game (against Fulham), and we have to raise our standards. This is not good enough.”