Erik ten Hag insisted he is a ‘fighter’ after another shambolic display from Manchester United on Wednesday and said he is ‘confident’ he can turn things around at Old Trafford.
Three days on from the spiritless showing against Manchester City, the Red Devils were beaten 3-0 by a heavily rotated Newcastle United side, as they pathetically crashed out of the Carabao Cup. Goals from Miguel Almiron, Lewis Hall and Joe Willock ensured it was another disastrous night for Ten Hag, who is facing increasing pressure after such a terrible start to the 2023/24 campaign.
That result means United have lost eight of the opening 15 matches in all competitions this season - their worst record since 1972/73, while it’s the first time the club have lost consecutive home matches by three or more goals since 1962.
Ten Hag took responsibility for the team’s results, but said he feels things will get better. “I understand it when the results are not there it is also a logical process that they are questioning that,” said the Dutchman.
“But I am confident I can do it. At all my clubs I have done it and also last year here I did it as well, but at this moment we are in a bad place. I take responsibility for it. I see it as a challenge. I am a fighter and I am in that fight and I have to make sure that I share the responsibility with my players and that we stick together and fight together, and get better results.
“I know it is not always going up and we have a lot of setbacks this season so far, but also you have to deal with it and that is never an excuse,” he continued. “I have said that before I know when there are setbacks the routines are not the same, but even then you have to get results in. Obviously, Sunday and tonight were far from that so we have to do things right and at a certain level, at the minimum level to win games.”
Asked about Wednesday’s performance, Ten Hag said: “It is below the standards everyone expects from Manchester United. It is not good enough by far. We have to put it right.
“As a team we are not good enough and whatever the reasons are, it is no space for excuses. We have to do things better and we have to raise our standards because otherwise you never get the right levels and performance and never get the results.”