Erik ten Hag vows to 'fight' amid growing questions over Manchester United future

Erik ten Hag vows to 'fight' amid growing questions over Manchester United future

Erik ten Hag vowed to fight for his Manchester United future after last night’s limp 3-0 defeat by Newcastle in the Carabao Cup piled more pressure on him.

There has been no indication that Ten Hag is under immediate threat of the sack despite another miserable night at Old Trafford.

United want to give the Dutchman time to turn things around, having backed him more than any manager since Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ten Hag has been granted control over transfers and there is still a feeling that he is at the early stage of a rebuild that requires patience.

United are also preparing for a structural shake-up ahead of an expected takeover from Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who wants to assume control of the football operations side of the club from the Glazer family if a 25 per cent offer worth an estimated £1.3billion is approved.

Football director John Murtough faces uncertainty over his position, and both he and chief executive Richard Arnold are thought to be reluctant to sack Ten Hag.

The manager, though, admitted last night that United are “in a bad place” and said he “felt sorry for the fans”.

Despite booing the players off at half-time and full-time, supporters did not round on Ten Hag (below, last night).

United have lost eight of their 15 matches in all competitions this season but Ten Hag argued he deserves to carry on as manager.

Ten Hag, subjected to chants of “you’re getting sacked in the morning” from Newcastle fans, said when asked about his future: “I understand that when the results are not there it’s a logical process there are questions. I am confident I can do it. At all my clubs I have done it. But at this moment we are in a bad place. I take responsibility for it. I am a fighter and I am in a fight.”

United play at Fulham on Saturday, as scrutiny on Ten Hag increases, with the club eighth in the Premier League and already eight points off the top four.

“It’s below the standards you would expect for Manchester United,” he said of the performances this season.

“It is not good enough by far. We have to put things right. I take responsibility for it. It’s my team and they are not performing. As a team we are good enough and, whatever the reasons are, there is no space for excuses. We need to raise our standards otherwise we will never get the results.

“You are Manchester United and it is expected you can deal with the pressure. Play football and do it together. Everyone has to take responsibility for their performance.”

Ten Hag added: “The fans are behind us. We don’t deserve it at the moment, but they are behind us.”