Ten Hag issues rallying cry as Man Utd keep European hopes alive

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Ten Hag issues rallying cry as Man Utd keep European hopes alive

Under-fire Erik ten Hag does not believe Manchester United’s 3-2 win over Newcastle will prove to be his last game in the Old Trafford dugout.

The 54-year-old’s future is the subject of widespread speculation given the way things have dramatically unravelled after a promising first season in charge.

Following Wednesday night’s victory, among a smattering of boos, the Dutchman strode defiantly onto the pitch and took the microphone to address those that had stayed to applaud the players’ traditional lap of honour.

“As you know,” he began, “it wasn’t an easy season, but one thing remained constant – and that was the backing of you for the team.

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Watch highlights from the Premier League match between Manchester United and Newcastle United

“But this season is not over yet. We will travel to Brighton where we go for three points, and then we go to Wembley. And I promise you that the players will give everything to bring a cup to Old Trafford.”

Indeed, Ten Hag still has to navigate United’s final Premier League fixture, a trip to Brighton, before taking on Manchester City in the FA Cup final the following weekend – two opportunities to stake a claim for Europe.

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Erik ten Hag has refused to comment on whether he’ll remain Manchester United manager next season following their 3-2 win over Newcastle United

They remain eighth in the league and will need to better Newcastle’s result in their last game to claim a place in the Europa Conference League – or a Europa League spot, should they get the better of Man City at Wembley.

“I don’t talk about pride – we are all disappointed with the season – but still, we can win something and we have to go for this,” Ten Hag told Sky Sports.

“I see the positives. I see that this team is developing. I know the reasons why we are not performing. No team will perform when the whole back four is not available across the season.

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Prior to Manchester United’s Premier League game against Newcastle, Marcus Rashford was seen arguing with a fan

“We have had our problems across the season and that has a negative impact on the results.

“But down the line, you see players performing, you see players progressing, like the youngsters, and that is very positive.

“There is high potential in this club. We all know. People can see.”

Before the game, Ten Hag dismissed a question about the fragility of his position, having last week said he was confident “common sense” will prevail as the club’s decision-makers consider his future.

Ten Hag adamant Fernandes loves Man Utd

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The Sky Sports Football Show panel explain why Man Utd must build around Bruno Fernandes rather than sell him this summer

Ten Hag says Bruno Fernandes loves playing with Manchester United and he values his contribution to the team, despite the Portuguese’s cryptic pitch side interview.

Following United’s Newcastle win, Fernandes told Sky Sports, “I feel that the club wants me to be a part of the future, so, as I said always, I don’t want to be a player that the club doesn’t want to have.

“If for some reason they don’t want to have me, I will go, but if they want me I will stay.”

Ten Hag was then seen dragging Fernandes away from the interview.

Fernandes has two years remaining on his contract at Old Trafford, but has been linked with a move to Bayern Munich and Saudi Arabia in the summer.

At his post-match press conference, Ten Hag said: “No, absolutely the club wants to keep Bruno. There’s no question, I think.

“I have to see the interview but, as far as I know, he loves Manchester United.

“He gives always his best. He’s an example, even with injuries he’s playing. He loves football, but he wants to win.”

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