Rasmus Højlund believes Erik ten Hag retains the full support of the Manchester United dressing room, despite the club’s poor start to the season.
Speaking in the aftermath of the borderline farcical defeat to FC Copenhagen, the Danish striker revealed: “I think everyone in the dressing room is behind him, so I think it’s only a matter of time (before things go our way).”
Though United ultimately lost last night, their defeat came largely at the incompetent hands of the officiating team, rather than anything the opposition did with their feet.
The opening twenty minutes of the match saw Ten Hag’s side take a two-goal lead, courtesy of two predatory finishes by Højlund.
United were in full control at this point with the Dane describing it as “some of the best football we have played this season.”
A series of bizarre VAR interventions then promptly turned the game on its head, with United losing a man, conceding a penalty and being subject to a series of further inexplicable decisions as they eventually ran out 4-3 losers.
A full report on the match can be found here, as well as a breakdown of the individual performances by the United team. Højlund’s efforts were sufficient enough for him to win The Peoples Person’s Man of the Match award.
The defeat left United bottom of their Champions League group, with qualification to the next round looking increasingly unlikely.
This would, in normal circumstances, be sufficient cause for an analysis of how a potential exit from a European competition at the hands of a Danish team may affect a manager’s position.
The decisions in the game were so overwhelmingly poor, however, that no inquest into Ten Hag’s tactics were launched. Indeed, even after his side were reduced to ten men and the Dutchman was able to recalibrate at the half-time interval, United were largely the better side in the second half, despite the numerical disadvantage.
Højlund was quick to praise his manager after the game, underscoring his quality as a coach and how much he has helped the Dane to develop in a short space of time.
“[Ten Hag] is a very good coach who thinks about the smallest details. He helps me a lot and gives me a lot of faith in things and supports me,” the Dane revealed.
Though it has been an undoubtedly disappointing start to the season for Ten Hag and his players, the fact that the Dutchman retains the support of the dressing room will be a key factor in the team turning things around.
A match against Luton at Old Trafford on Saturday appears the perfect place to start.