sport news Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag sends out rallying ahead of crunch clash ... trends now
Back-to-back defeats by two of the Premier League’s lesser lights has plunged United into an early-season crisis, and Ten Hag’s third game is the biggest in the English football calendar, against Liverpool at Old Trafford on Monday night.
Jurgen Klopp’s side humiliated their old rivals 9-0 on aggregate home and away last season, and the only consolation for Ten Hag is that it might be better to catch Liverpool early in the new campaign on the evidence of their two draws against Fulham and Crystal Palace.
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has demanded that his players learn to 'fight'
The Red Devils were embarrassed 4-0 by Brentford in their second game of the season
It is still a daunting challenge for a United side desperately low on confidence. Yesterday, Ten Hag demanded more fight from his players and unity from supporters to lift the 20-time champions off the bottom of the table.
The Dutchman’s furious response to a 4-0 defeat at Brentford was to haul the squad into their Carrington training base last Sunday and make them run the extra eight-and-a-half miles they lagged behind their opponents 24 hours earlier.
‘I made myself clear I was definitely not happy,’ said Ten Hag. ‘You can talk about football, you can talk about the plan or philosophy, but it starts with the basic stuff: the right attitude, a fighting attitude, and I didn’t see that from minute one.
‘You have to bring it in every game on the pitch — especially Monday night. Obviously, a lot went wrong but we don’t have to talk about anything when the attitude isn’t right.
‘We know what’s going on when we play Liverpool. You have to be ready and to fight yourself into the season.’
United have been defeated in both of their two Premier League games at the start of this term
Even if Ten Hag can get United to stand up for themselves, he knows now that the quality is not there, either. What felt like a methodical — if largely unfruitful — transfer window for United has turned rather