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Erik ten Hag has bounced back from a baptism of fire as Manchester United boss

Published on: 30 September 2022

Only a few weeks ago, Pep Guardiola’s suggestion that Erik ten Hag could be his long-term successor at Manchester City would have sounded ridiculous.

Ten Hag was facing the mother of all baptisms at Manchester United after back-to-back defeats against Brighton and Brentford had plunged the Dutch-man into crisis and sent his new team spiralling to the bottom of the table.

The skies over Carrington may have been leaden, but the outlook now looks considerably brighter.

Four straight Premier League wins — including against Liverpool and Arsenal — have transformed the mood around Old Trafford and raised hopes that United can give Manchester City a run for their money at the Etihad tomorrow.

Ten Hag has gone from being a marked man to only the second United boss since Sir Alex Ferguson retired to receive the Manager of the Month award.

Marcus Rashford also picked up the players’ award for September, adding to the sense of optimism coursing through the club.

While Ten Hag was not about to get carried away by the accolades, he did sound a positive note about the possibility of inflicting Guardiola’s first league defeat of the season.

‘We want to win every game, so the aim on Sunday is nothing else,’ he said. ‘We are convinced of our capabilities. If we act as a team, in and out of possession, we can beat opponents.’

While Rashford could be in contention after returning to training following a hamstring injury, Harry Maguire will miss the game due to the thigh strain he picked up on international duty.

The United boss also revealed that he has spoken to Maguire after he was blamed for two of the goals England conceded against Germany. ‘We all believe in him. Now it is about him,’ added Ten Hag.


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