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Pressure mounts on Erik ten Hag as Man United lose to Burnley



Pressure mounts on Erik ten Hag as Man United lose to Burnley

The plot seems to be thickening for Manchester United manager, Erik ten Hag following the poor start to the premier league season under the Dutchman, and the narrative seems to continue even in a friendly fixture held behind closed doors.

The Old Trafford side held a friendly game against Burnley earlier today with a lineup of Man United’s fringe players, with the Red Devils losing out in style in a 3-0 defeat.

The team that featured against Vincent Kompany’s side included Jonny Evans, Hannibal Mejbri, Álvaro Fernández, Scott McTominay, Anthony Martial, Donny Van de Beek, and Facundo Pellistri.

Notably, five out of the seven reported starters are rumored to be on the way out before the summer transfer deadline or have been actively considered for transfer, suggesting that they might not be integral to Ten Hag’s strategic plans.

Jonny Evans, who is on a short-term contract with the club, has drawn attention as Ten Hag expressed his desire to retain the defender for the remainder of the season.

This friendly match marked the second occasion this month that Manchester United engaged with Premier League rivals in a practice game, having secured victory over Everton at their training grounds just a week prior.

Ten Hag’s approach to these friendlies primarily centers on enhancing the team’s fitness levels during the early phases of the season.

However, a positive result against the Premier League newcomers would have been a morale boost for the squad.

The reported defeat in this friendly follows two lackluster performances by Manchester United in their opening Premier League fixtures.

The team suffered a 2-0 loss to Tottenham on the weekend, where their midfield struggled to maintain control, the defense was left vulnerable, and the forward line appeared toothless for the second consecutive game.

Despite the challenges, Ten Hag maintained an optimistic outlook after the loss to Ange Postecoglou’s side, highlighting the positive aspects of their performance.

Nevertheless, with these early struggles in the Premier League, pressure could intensify on the Dutch manager if the team fails to demonstrate improvement in subsequent matches.

Manchester United also secured a less than convincing victory over Wolves in their season opener. Once again, the team’s midfield seemed overwhelmed, with Casemiro struggling to assert control.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the loss to Tottenham, Ten Hag shared his thoughts:

“I was pleased with our first-half performance. We played really well, created numerous scoring opportunities, and our pressing game was effective.

“It’s disappointing that we couldn’t convert our chances, and I’m unsure why the handball in the penalty area wasn’t given.

“The hand clearly altered the ball’s direction. However, we must accept the decision and move forward.”