Erik ten Hag insisted he will fight to save Manchester United’s troubled season after their dismal League Cup exit against Newcastle piled increased pressure on the beleaguered boss.
Ten Hag’s side slumped to a miserable 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford for the second time in four days as Newcastle dumped United out in the fourth round.
Hot on the heels of their limp Manchester derby loss to Pep Guardiola’s champions on Sunday, United’s latest calamity added to the growing feeling that Ten Hag is in danger of being sacked.
United have lost eight of their opening 15 fixtures in all competitions this term, their worst start since the 1962-63 campaign.
It is the first time United have lost successive home games by three goals or more since October 1962, while they have lost five of their first 10 home games for the first time since 1930-31.
Ten Hag’s players were booed off at both half-time and full-time in the Newcastle debacle, leaving the Dutchman facing a fight to save his job in only his second season at the club.
“I am a fighter and I know it is not always going up,” he said. “We have a lot of setbacks this season so far, but also you have to deal with it and that is never an excuse.
“I have said that before I know when there are setbacks the routines are not the same, but even then you have to get results in.
“Obviously, Sunday and tonight were far from that so we have to do things right and at a certain level, at the minimum level to win gam
‘We are in a bad place’
Former Ajax boss Ten Hag led United to their first trophy in six years when they beat Newcastle in the League Cup final last season.
That success, coupled with United’s top-four finish in the Premier League, led many to tip them as potential title challengers.
But United will head to Fulham on Saturday languishing 11 points behind leaders Tottenham.
Despite mounting criticism of his reign and reports that his fall-out with United winger Jadon Sancho has caused a rift with some of his squad, Ten Hag is adamant he is still the right man for the job.
“I understand it when the results are not there,” he said of the fans’ disquiet.
“It is also a logical process that they are questioning that. But I am confident I can do it.
“At all my clubs I have done it and also last year here I did it as well, but at this moment we are in a bad place.
“I take responsibility for it. I see it as a challenge. I am a fighter and I am in that fight and I have to make sure that I share the responsibility with my players and that we stick together and fight together, and get better results.”
Regardless of his confidence in his ability to revive United, their failure to match Newcastle’s energy and desire was a worrying sign for Ten Hag.
“It is below the standards everyone expect from Manchester United,” he said.
“It is not good enough by far. We have to put it right. I take responsibility for it. It is my team and they are not performing. I have to share it with my players, but I am responsible.”
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