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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Sack me now: Erik ten Hag sends message to Manchester United hierarchy after FA Cup triumph

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Erik ten Hag claimed that if Manchester United sack him, he will go to another club and win trophies for them instead – because that is what he has done throughout his career.

The Dutchman secured the FA Cup – his second piece of silverware in as many seasons with United – with a 2-1 win over Manchester City and then admitted he was not sure if it will prove his last game in charge of the club.

Ten Hag insisted that Ineos have often told him they want to keep him in charge but professed ignorance of United’s interest in other managers and did not reveal when the club’s new co-owners last expressed their confidence in him.

“Every time is the same question,” he said. “Do I have to repeat myself 10, 15, 20 times? They don’t have to tell me every week.”

Ten Hag claimed United are exactly where he wants them to be, despite finishing eighth in the Premier League and with a negative goal difference, and said he inherited a shambles.

“I am in a project and we are exactly where we want to be,” he added. “We are on our way to constructing a team for the future. I will go with ups and down. When I took over we were in a mess at United. There is still a lot of work to do but are exactly where we are, we have value in the squad, high potentials progressing very good, the team is progressing and we are winning trophies. Two trophies in two years is not bad, three finals in two years is not bad. We have to keep going. I’m not satisfied with it, we have to do better and if they don’t want me any more then I go somewhere else to win trophies because that is what I did my whole career.

“When I started here, I said I am here to win and also I want to build a team and both I am doing but if they don’t want me any more I go somewhere else and win games and win trophies.”

Ten Hag said the FA Cup was a bucket-list achievement for him but called on United to give him more transfer windows and to sign more fit players after they have had a litany of injuries this season.

He added: “The FA Cup was absolutely one on my bucket list, it is such a huge trophy. That is always the best to end [a season] on a high so you have the whole summer to enjoy.

“The team is developing, the team is winning and the team plays to an identity but you need the players to be available and a strong squad especially when you play in England and Europe. We need more players because the depth in the squad is by far not good enough. Also, still we need transfer windows to bring better players in and also players who are always available or often valuable because when the players are not robust enough, you cannot win trophies.”

Ten Hag hit out at criticism of his Premier League record after United registered their lowest ever finish in the division. “When you make this, you don’t have any knowledge about managing a football team,” he said, arguing injuries were the reason for it.

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