Erik ten Hag on Cristiano Ronaldo staying at Man Utd
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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag will be desperately hoping that his players will manage to maintain their winning form after the international break, with the Red Devils having found their feet under the Dutchman’s guidance over the last few weeks. Ten Hag has recently managed to get his United stars firing on all cylinders after a disappointing start to the campaign and will be hoping to keep up the good work in order to aid their hopes of sealing Champions League qualification between now and the end of the season.
United have won five of their last six games in all competitions but will be forced to wait until next month for a chance to extend their impressive run, with this weekend’s scheduled match against Leeds having been postponed ahead of the international break. It will be important for Ten Hag’s squad to avoid losing their current momentum in advance of their next test against Manchester City, who will be the overwhelming favourites to claim the spoils in the first derby of the new season.
The Red Devils manager will be looking to avoid the same fate as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after his first international break in charge of United, with the latter having overseen a dramatic dip in form in the early stages of his time in the dugout. The Norwegian coach enjoyed a strong first few months in charge of United after taking the job in November 2018, with his players going on a brilliant run until the season paused in March.
It was an entirely different story upon the return of Premier League football, though, with United going on to win just two of their final eight league games of the season as well as being knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona. Ten Hag will not be able to afford a slip-up of this nature after the end of this month’s international break, with a change in fortunes able to undo all the progress that has been made since he replaced Ralf Rangnick after the final match of last season.
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The Red Devils have a total of 13 games to play in the six weeks following the break and will be desperate to avoid dropping too many points as they look to keep up with the Premier League’s big-hitters at the business end of the table. They will also be hoping to book their place in the knockout rounds of the Europa League, with plenty of work still left to be done after losing one and winning the other of their first two group stage matches.
United managed to secure a much-needed victory over FC Sheriff on away soil on Thursday evening, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring from the spot after Jadon Sancho had given the visitors an early lead in Moldova. Ten Hag went on to reveal that he will be using the international break to hold meetings with the club’s hierarchy to establish their direction over the coming months and start planning ahead for the January transfer window.
“Always to use such breaks [is] useful, we have many meetings, we have to improve the structures in and around the club [which] we will do,” Ten Hag told MUTV after the full-time whistle.
“We will also look to the window in January or next summer already but also to improve our way of playing by making plans and, of course, this coming period with every third day a game we have to get ready for that.
“The players, 90 per cent are away [on international duty but] the others will train proper and for the rest we have to prepare very well and I hope everyone stays fit, return, healthy back and we have to go in and attack.”
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