Erik ten Hag continues familiar theme as under-pressure manager discusses Man Utd "reset"

Irish Mirror   19/09/2023 21:50

Erik ten Hag, no doubt through no fault of his own, was late for his press conference at the Allianz Arena, which was appropriate.

Nowadays, Manchester United are late for most things. Decent signings, stadium improvements, tackles. On the field, in particular, it is an elite club trundling along in the slow lane. In fact, at one point during the defeat to Brighton at the weekend, the team looked as though it had come to a virtual standstill.

But if anyone was expecting Ten Hag to go on the front foot, to come out fighting, to make some sort of rallying call on the eve of a contest with the might of Bayern Munich, they were very much mistaken. Has he told his squad that the lack of intensity against Brighton was not acceptable?

By the sound of his answers in Bavaria, it does not seem so. It is still about the ‘process’, it seems. “We don’t need a reset,” said the Manchester United manager. "It is part of the process.”

Whether or not three Premier League defeats in the opening five fixtures can be described as part of the process is a moot point. And in fairness to Ten Hag, he is having to cope with an injury list that has now lengthened to 12 players ahead of the Champions League meeting with Bayern.

“From the start of last season, I don’t think I have been able to play my best starting eleven,” said Ten Hag. “There has always been something. But you have to deal with it.

"We always got the results, apart from the period we are in now. But that is football. It’s not alway going up you have to deal with it. I like these situations because we have to handle it - you have to know what to do, focusing on the process.”

Ten Hag is preparing United for their clash with Bayern Munich

Ah, the good, old process. And another part of that is the ‘integration’ of 20-year-old Rasmus Hojlund, who will make his second start for United on Wednesday night.

In particular, Ten Hag is looking forward to Hojlund and Marcus Rashford developing a productive relationship. Ten Hag said: “How can the two benefit each other? We learn from every training, we learn from every game. It is a process that has just started. At the same time, we need results so it has to go hand-in-hand.”

It certainly does …because when you are Manchester United and you are losing games, there is only so long you can go on about the ‘process’.

Cookie Settings