Erik ten Hag has defended the Glazers by stating that Manchester United’s owners “want to win” before expected protests against the American family’s ownership in the runup to Monday’s visit of Liverpool.
Fan group the 1958 has stated it will stage new action to show the discontent regarding the Glazers 17-year proprietorship, with a march that may involve several hundred and is planned to end at 7.30pm on Monday opposite the club store.
The manager was asked about this. “I can only say the owners want to win and the fans – we want them behind the club,” said Ten Hag. “I can understand sometimes [the sentiment] but I am not that long in the club to see all the backgrounds. We have to fight together and be unified.”
Ten Hag has overseen two defeats from his first two matches at the club, last Saturday’s 4-0 debacle at Brentford leaving him particularly unhappy. The 52-year-old indicated he expects a reaction against Jürgen Klopp’s side.
“I was definitely not happy,” said the Dutchman. “You can talk about football, you can talk about the plan, philosophy but it starts with the basic stuff, the right attitude, fighting attitude and I didn’t see that from minute one.
“Bring it in every game on the pitch, especially Monday night. It starts with yourself, act as a team, follow the rules and principles and work hard, as hard as you can maximise and if you do that you can get confidence.
“It’s not difficult to motivate this team because my experience that they work really good on the training pitch.” Ten Hag was asked how the past few days have been post-Brentford. “It’s a week as normal as a manager,” he said. “You see a game, you have a plan, a way of play and then you check how the game went and then you clearly analyse and see what’s wrong and what’s good. Obviously, a lot went wrong but we don’t have to talk about anything when the attitude is not right.
“First, I look myself and make a clear analysis. I take some notice of some criticism: some of it is really good, good advice. But also some are not that good so I lay it to the side. We work from game to game, and Liverpool next: obviously we know what’s going on when we play Liverpool – you have to be ready – to fight yourself into the season.”
Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave United before the window shuts on 1 September.
“He’s in our plans, that’s what I can say,” the manager said. “I don’t know why he’s a particular focus after Saturday [Brentford], it was the team performance, the whole team’s attitude [was wrong], including Ronaldo.” Anthony Martial, meanwhile, has returned to training following a hamstring problem.