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Erik ten Hag makes bold Manchester United claim after reaching 100 games in charge

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Erik ten Hag believes he may have won up to 75 of his first 100 matches as Manchester United boss was it not for an injury list he claims no team would be able to cope with.

This has been a poor second season in the hotseat for the under-pressure Dutchman, who suffered a 3-1 defeat at rivals Manchester City last weekend as he brought up a century of matches in charge.

Ten Hag had to field a patched-up team against the Premier League champions and absentee-hit United will again be without a host of first-team players for Saturday’s clash with embattled Everton.

Marcus Rashford and Jonny Evans have been passed fit after coming off in the Manchester derby, but Omari Forson has joined their lengthy list of injuries ahead of the weekend.

“That’s the good news, (Rashford and Evans) recovered after the derby, so they are available,” boss Ten Hag said.

“For the rest it is the same squad apart from Omari Forson. He dropped out. He has an injury.

“Mason Mount, I think he is in a good spell now and he will return shortly. I think after the international break.

“For next week, some players are planning to return hopefully.

“When the process will continue like it is now Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka I expect them to be available for our game against Liverpool. (Rasmus) Hojlund similar, yeah.”

Defeat in next weekend’s FA Cup quarter-final clash against rivals Liverpool will end United’s last remaining route to silverware this term.

Ten Hag won the Carabao Cup in his first campaign and led the side to third in the Premier League – a far cry from their current place in sixth, 11 points off fourth-placed Aston Villa with 11 games to go.

Imagine if we had many more players available, not so many setbacks in injuries, it could have been easily 70 or 75 wins and that tells the bright future of this team when players are available.

Erik ten Hag

Injuries have played a key role in this season’s drop-off and without such issues the Dutchman believes he would have won far more than 61 of his first 100 matches at the helm.

“It tells that we are in the right direction,” Ten Hag said of his win ratio.

“So, imagine if we had many more players available, not so many setbacks in injuries, it could have been easily 70 or 75 wins and that tells the bright future of this team when players are available.

“Because if you compare it, you compare it with other managers or other teams who were in a build-up stage, or with previous managers in this big club, then you can see there is a bright future.

“Also, I think it’s a good balance in ages in this squad, where young players, middle-aged players, experienced players together.

“Imagine when they are available. As I said, we could have easily win from 100 games 75 and that’s a big difference I think with the stats you mentioned.”

Long-term absentees Lisandro Martinez, Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia are others sidelined right now, unbalancing a side clearly lacking strength in depth.

“No team can deal with this, with so many injuries,” Ten Hag added. “I think we are playing to maximum levels if you take in the availability of the players.

“So, when you miss so many key players over many parts of the season, then obviously the results, the performances will not be (the same as) when the players are available.

“We have seen when the players were available like in January and February our performances were very good.

“And I think from that moment when the players were not even fit, they could have done even better when they are 100 per cent fit in that moment but they were not.”

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