Erik ten Hag says he believes fans are happy with the way his Manchester United team is playing ahead of their vital Premier League clash with Newcastle United tomorrow.
The manager said:
“I think so [that his side are playing as the fans would want], if you see the goals we’ve scored recently. In Copenhagen, at Everton, on Wednesday, in Istanbul, we scored some very good collective goals The fact of having a good plan, of giving creativity to the players in the positions where they perform best, allowed us to score some very good goals:”
United’s last match was a disappointing 3-3 draw with Galatasaray in Istanbul on Wednesday. Twice in the game United squandered a two-goal lead, mostly due to poor goalkeeping by Andre Onana.
When questioned at the press conference whether Onana would be dropped for the last Champions League match, he said “No”.
“It’s obvious, he has the potential.”
The reporter said it might help Onana to be taken out of the team, to which Ten Hag replied “No, it won’t happen”.
“I have trust in Tom [Heaton] and Altay [Bayindir], clear. But Andre, you see it once again, [he is] after Alisson in [terms of] preventing the most expected goals from the whole league.
“He was in Champions League, so much experience, with Ajax, with Inter Milan last year he was in the Champions League after Neuer, Courtois, he was the best keeper.”
“He is a great keeper and he has the potential so we have to work on him, [so] that he is doing that consistently and we will work with him. The manager, the coaches, and also the players they support him.”
Asked if he is undroppable, Ten Hag insisted “of course not, no-one is undroppable. That is also clear. We believe and we have a strong belief that he will help us win trophies.”
Asked if the Cameroonian would leave for the Africa Cup of Nations in January, the manager replied:
“So when they call him, he has to go. But we are in talks”.
Earlier this year Ten Hag made comments about tomorrow’s opponents, Newcastle, being “annoying” with their time-wasting and he was asked to elaborate on that ahead of tomorrow’s match.
“I didn’t say that. The time-wasting: I made that point, clear. The term ‘annoying’ was positive for them,” he said.
“It is a really difficult team to play, so I meant it in a very positive way. I said it out of respect for how they are doing. They are physical, they have a very good transition and very good organisation in the pressing.
“They are doing a great job there and I like to play against them.”
Ten Hag was then asked about Marcus Rashford’s future given that Alejandro Garnacho has nailed down the left wing role.
“Didn’t you see our games?” he replied. “They were both in the team against Copenhagen and Everton.”
“Rashy can play from the right and he likes to play from the right. But he can also play through in the middle, and also from the left, so he is really motivated,” he replied.
Ten Hag also confirmed that “Donny has to play” when asked if Van de Beek would be allowed to leave the club in summer. More on that story on The Peoples Person tomorrow.