Home » Erik ten Hag lifts the lid on how Manchester United have rediscovered fighting spirit

Erik ten Hag lifts the lid on how Manchester United have rediscovered fighting spirit

Fitness and belief have helped United showcase their famous never-say-die attitude

by Ayantan Chowdhury

Erik ten Hag started off his career as Manchester United boss in the worst way possible in both competitions the team has played in so far this season.

The Premier League was a disaster as United lost their opening two games to Brighton and Brentford while in the Europa League, the Reds suffered a narrow loss in their opener against Real Sociedad.

The players have since shown grit and determination and the Dutch boss has managed to steady the ship.

The famous United spirit on display

United are currently on a six-game unbeaten streak and are placed sixth in the league table, just three points behind third placed Tottenham Hotspur with a game in hand.

In the Europa League, the 20-time English champions have won all their three remaining games and are currently second, just a point away from qualification to the next round.

And this current streak has been defined by the Red Devils’ rediscovery of their famous never-say-die attitude with United rescuing points from the jaws of defeat in four of the last six games.

In Europe, United have twice snatched late wins, both times against Omonia Nicosia, while in the Premier League, Chelsea and Everton have had to face the music.

And Ten Hag feels this is the kind of spirit that can propel the team to win trophies in the future.

“I think we keep going and it’s a quality that a team who wants to win trophies needs. So we are developing that. I think we are on a good way so we’ll keep that process going but we have to get even more from it,” Ten Hag told the club’s media team.

A big part of this rediscovery comes from United’s superior fitness levels. The manager has rotated sparingly but the players have always seemed up for it when thrown into the deep end.

ETH hoping for it to continue

Anthony Martial, Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay have all come in as substitutes to change the game.

And the former Ajax coach also pointed out that his team are finally starting to believe in themselves and that has led to United pushing on till the final whistle.

“It’s one of the good things, so [let’s] keep that culture. As a good base, you also need good physical [fitness] to do that in the last stage of the game and the last point is belief. Believe that it’s not ended until the final whistle of the ref and so keep going, keep believing in winning and getting the best result out of it.

“That fighting spirit, keep going. You have to believe on the pitch that we go for a better result. I think it’s good. I think it shows that we can come back and we can decide games in the last minutes, which shows that the fitness levels are good. But that is an investment and you have to keep that going.”

This spirit can go a long way in determining how United end their season in all competitions with the players showing they can add quite few points and wins from losing positions along the way.

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