MANCHESTER, England,- Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag insisted he is not concerned about keeping his job, despite mounting pressure after a couple of heavy defeats amid one of the team’s worst seasons in recent memory.
There could be more misery on Sunday when United, who are sixth in the standings, travel to Anfield without injured defender Harry Maguire to play Premier League leaders Liverpool.
“No, there is no concern,” Ten Hag. “Because I’m here to win and I have to make the team play better, and if you play good, even then good is not good enough.
“And so, now we are inconsistent, so I have to work on that, the team is going to play for longer periods at a high level.
“We will put out a team that can challenge. I am confident I can put out a team that can win there,” he added.
United suffered a humiliating 3-0 home defeat by Bournemouth last weekend and were beaten 1-0 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday that knocked them out of Europe and saw Maguire, the league’s player of the month for November, leave the pitch with a groin injury.
Ten Hag said Maguire will not be available for the Liverpool clash but that Luke Shaw trained on Friday.
“But I don’t think (Maguire’s injury is) long-term,” Ten Hag said.
Despite their shambolic season so far, Ten Hag believed “long-term the future for Man United is very good”.
“If you see how many good players we have in the squad, how many good young players we have in the squad who have the potential to play worldwide, when the injuries get back the team will play better,” the Dutchman added.
United were thrashed 7-0 last season at Anfield, but Ten Hag insisted his team would put up more of a fight this time round.
“We take that in our memory, but also have to learn from it and on Sunday we can prove (we have done) that,” he said. “I think everyone is highly motivated when they go to Anfield. It is a great place to go. We know it is going to be tough, but I think every top footballer wants to thrive in that challenge.”
Much of the disappointment around Tuesday’s loss to Bayern was their lack of chances. United had one shot on target, and virtually no chances were created for Rasmus Hojlund who scored five goals in their Champions League campaign but has zero in the league this season.
“He has scored in the highest level — in the Champions League he has five goals, which is a massive performance from a young player, “Ten Hag said of the 20-year-old Dane.
“There are not so many young players who can do that. He has the potential, we recognise that and I am sure he will get there. He will score in the Premier League. I can see how he is doing it in the training.”