Erik ten Hag insists Man United are going in the 'right direction'
Erik ten Hag insists Manchester United have ‘high targets’ but stresses his players ‘MUST stick together’ and follow their ‘rules and principles’ as the under-pressure coach accepts a managerial award
- The Manchester United believes his side are heading in the ‘right direction’
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Erik ten Hag used his acceptance speech at the Football Writers’ Association awards dinner on Sunday evening to try and breed confidence into his underperforming Manchester United players by revealing the club have ‘high targets’ to reach.
United secured a late victory against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday after Bruno Fernandes struck in stoppage time to seal a crucial Premier League win.
Ten Hag’s position as United boss, was, and still is being scrutinised but the victory handed him reasons to be optimistic heading into a crunch week of Champions League and domestic fixtures.
The 53-year-old was accepting an award after guiding United to the Carabao Cup title last season, a feat that Ten Hag described as a ‘great success’.
Victory over Newcastle in last season’s league cup final – a competition that United were just eliminated from by the same team – handed Ten Hag the first and only trophy of his time at Old Trafford so far.
Erik ten Hag believes his Manchester United side are heading in the ‘right direction’ despite recent struggles
United salvaged a 1-0 victory over Fulham on Saturday after captain Bruno Fernandes scored late on
Ten Hag was speaking as he accepted an award for winning the Carabao Cup with Man United last season
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United are already nine points adrift of Premier League leaders Manchester City, but Ten Hag has issued a rallying call telling his struggling superstars to ‘stick together’ during their current difficult patch.
‘I was very proud of my staff and my players and to, to get that done [winning the Carabao Cup] and to to start a project,’ he told the Northern FWA.
‘We are in the project and when you are in a project, you know, ups and downs and this moment we are in a down, but I know and this, football is like life.
‘It’s not only going always the way up, it’s in the moment in bad moments about how you stick together and how you continue the project, how you stick to the rules and the principles you have because, you know, and that is the way you finally achieve the success.
‘And so I’m sure we are in the right direction,’ added Ten Hag.
One step in the wrong direction would come in the form of failing to get a victory against Copenhagen in the Champions League on Tuesday, with defeat leaving United’s European ambitions in tatters.
The club haven’t won the competition since beating Chelsea over a decade ago and United have struggled during their opening group stage matches.
Ten Hag has come under pressure this season with United struggling to match their form of last year
Ten Hag revealed United have set ‘high targets’ and called on his team to achieve their aims
Ten Hag used his speech at the Football Writers’ Association awards dinner to rally his United players
But, Ten Hag is optimistic for the future despite recent issues and is adamant United will reach their ‘high targets.
‘In football it’s all about winning trophies, it is very difficult after what Sir Alex did with Manchester United to do well with Manchester United.
‘That is a challenge I would not get out of the way. I wanted to do the job and last year was fantastic, difficult start, but finally it became a great season.
‘We are still really pleased with it, but it’s not enough with Manchester United as we have high targets and we have to go and get there,’ he added.
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