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28th Apr 2024

Erik ten Hag takes a dig at former Manchester United players

Luke Davies

The Dutchman watched his side play out a disappointing 1-1 draw against Burnley yesterday.

United took the lead through Antony with 11 minutes to play. However, Andre Onana conceded a penalty three minutes from time, which Zeki Amdouni converted calmly. The team were booed off the field in yet another less-than-impressive performance. 

United fans were left dismayed when Kobbie Mainoo was withdrawn on 65 minutes. He explained the reason for the change when speaking to the press after the match.

“I am the manager and have to decide what the team needs.”

 “It was the right decision and totally logical to bring off very young players who are in their first year of the Premier League and feel some fatigue.

“Fans need patience. I understand they want to see the skills of these players but the league gets more intense year by year and the youngsters need to adjust. That takes time.”

He continued, digging out former players turned pundits, who regularly criticise his decision-making.

“People forget that the Man United team of 2004-05, they also didn’t play that great football (Ferguson was building a youthful side around the talent of Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo). They were building and it took time but everyone forgets, even the players who were in the team.”

Roy Keane, Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes are the most high-profile players who appeared for the team during that period.

United have developed a bizarre habit of allowing teams multiple shots on goal. Even the lesser teams have enjoyed free-range on goal; Burnley had 16 shots.

“We are creating loads of chances by playing good football. Yes, we concede also. We have to learn from it because it was unnecessary to lose the control.”

The Red Devils are out of the race for UEFA Champions League football after the draw. United sit in sixth with three games to play; they are likely to secure a UEFA Europa League spot but Newcastle sit just one point behind in seventh. Seventh place would secure a UEFA Conference League qualification spot.

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