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‘We have to win every game’

‘We have to win every game’

Erik ten Hag was in defiant mood ahead of Manchester United’s Premier League clash against Fulham on Saturday, and is confident his side will show a reaction at Craven Cottage.

Significant pressure is mounting on Ten Hag after seeing United lose eight games in their first 15 matches in all competitions for the first time since the 1962-63 season.

They head into Saturday’s match sitting eighth in the Premier League table – 11 points adrift of league leaders Tottenham, and eight behind fourth-placed Liverpool.

When asked if Saturday’s game is a must-win, Ten Hag said in his pre-match press conference: “I never think in such scenarios, we have to win every game.

“We put every effort in and I’m sure the players are ready to execute the plan tomorrow.

“The players are hard to beat but in this moment, after two defeats, we didn’t show it. I’m convinced in the long term the players will be hard to beat and they know how to do it.”

The Dutchman dismissed suggestions that his team lacks an identity or distinct playing style, and explained how injuries in key position has hampered their progress this season.

“I think that is too strong. The intention is clear but the execution isn’t.

“At the moment we are in with so many changes in each game. We can’t line up the same for two or three games and last season was the same.

“Now, often we miss players in the back four and we have to adjust, also in the midfield. We are missing Casemiro.

“We have to win and I don’t want to find excuses if we don’t win. We have to be more pragmatic.”

Ten Hag was also quizzed on whether further investment is needed in the squad, but believes there is enough quality at his disposal to turn around a dismal start to the campaign.

“I have a good squad and I’m convinced in the players in this dressing room.

“These players, as you saw last year, can do better and I need to let them play better. That is my responsibility.

“I’m not thinking about [transfer] windows because I have a good squad and we will play better when players return from injury.”


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