Manchester United issue statement after reports they are lining up replacement for Erik ten Hag
Zinedine Zidane and Sporting Lisbon head coach Ruben Amorim were named as possible alternatives.
The Premier League giants have endured their worst start to a season in 61 years having lost eight of their opening 15 games.
Heavy back-to-back defeats at home to Manchester City and Newcastle United have seen pressure on ten Hag grow. United now face a string of must-win games, starting at Fulham on Saturday and away to Copenhagen next week – where another defeat would likely end their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League.
United then host Luton Town at Old Trafford next Saturday.
A report from The Times claims ten Hag is on ‘thin ice’ and faces being sacked unless there is an immediate improvement in the team’s form. It goes onto name former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane and Sporting Lisbon head coach Ruben Amorim as two potential replacements for the Dutchman.
But United have moved to deny those claims. ‘The report claiming that we are exploring alternatives to Erik ten Hag as manager is categorically false,’ a statement read.
Reports elsewhere claim the United dressing room has been left divided by ten Hag’s stern approach to dealing with issues within the squad.
Some players are said to have turned on the manager and privately questioned his handling of Jadon Sancho and Harry Maguire. Others are said to have remained loyal to the Dutchman, convinced his authoritative approach is necessary to help get the club back on track.
Ten Hag has called for unity at the club, sentiments echoed by Scott McTominay.
‘We have to win,’ the Scotland international said of those upcoming games against Fulham and Copenhagen.
‘That’s always the thought process. Obviously, my thoughts are with the fans at the minute because we’re not playing well and it’s difficult for them – they pay their hard-earned money every week to come and watch us and the least we can do is play well and win football matches.
‘It’s not quite happening at the moment, sometimes that’s football.
‘I feel like, for us in that dressing room, we have to stay tight and keep a clear head, and we can’t get too emotional with everything that surrounds us. We’ve got to block it all out.’
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