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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Look at my record before you doubt me –

Erik ten Hag told doubters to look at his record as the under-fire boss spoke with conviction about being the right man to help stumbling Manchester United fulfil their ambitions. 

Having won the Carabao Cup, reached the FA Cup final and finished third in the Premier League during a promising first season in charge, things have gone awry during his second campaign. 

Saturday evening’s lifeless 1-0 loss at Newcastle was United’s 10th defeat in just 21 matches in all competitions, leading criticism, scrutiny and pressure to mount on Ten Hag. 

Reports emerged that the Dutchman had lost the confidence of some players, with concerns over style and tactics mentioned in stories that led to four media outlets being banned from the pre-match press conference ahead of tonight’s game with Chelsea. 

United were furious not to have been given a right to reply to the reports that Ten Hag dismissed as he came out fighting and preaching about togetherness. 

He said: “There will be always tough times in every journey. We are in the right direction.

“I know we will get there where we want to be. See my record. 

“Everywhere where I was, every season, I got my targets. So if we stick together, stick to the plan and the strategy, we will get where we want to be.”

Ten Hag, 53, managed Go Ahead Eagles, Bayern Munich II and Utrecht before flourishing at Ajax and earning his move to Manchester. 

He won three league titles during his time in charge of the Dutch giants, who he led to the Champions League semi-finals in 2019. 

Tottenham ended that unforgettable run and Ten Hag comes up against Mauricio Pochettino for the first time since then, and beating him to the United job, when Chelsea visit Old Trafford. 

Asked what the realistic timeframe is for getting United where they want to go, Ten Hag said: “First of all, I can say in this club we are waiting for two, three years. 

“The aim is, the demand is and the standards should be that you win every game, so we go in every game with the aim.”

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