EPL

Man Utd have reached ‘turning point’ ahead of crucial week – Erik ten Hag

By Sports Desk November 25, 2023

Erik ten Hag believes his Manchester United team have reached a “turning point” as they head into a crucial week of fixtures.

The Dutchman’s future at Old Trafford was under immense scrutiny at the start of the month, with United’s record of eight defeats in their first 15 matches in all competitions amounting to their worst start to a season since 1962.

United won their two Premier League fixtures prior to the international break – away to Fulham and at home to Luton – to ease the pressure and leave them with a record of four wins from their last five league matches.

They resume after the break with three away days in hostile atmospheres – first at Everton on Sunday against a team fuelled by a sense of injustice following the imposition of a 10-point penalty for breaching Premier League financial rules, followed by a visit to Istanbul to take on Galatasaray on Wednesday before a trip to St James’ Park to face Newcastle.

But Ten Hag insists morale is good among his players heading into a hectic period of matches which could define United’s season.

“We have seen a turning point,” the former Ajax boss said.

“Now we have to build on. We go into a massive month and we are really looking forward with confidence.

“There are no easy games for anyone – everyone will drop points. But the last five games we won four and that gives us confidence going into the next games.”

On the tests of character about to face his side, Ten Hag added: “We play three games in six days and as a group we have to deal with that.

“We have a plan, we have studied for it. We made the players aware that they have to take responsibility, but especially it’s about co-operation.”

United are boosted by the return of England international Luke Shaw from a thigh muscle injury which has sidelined him since August.

Goalkeeper Andre Onana has overcome a knock suffered on international duty with Cameroon, but a late call will be taken on whether Rasmus Hojlund can feature.

The Dane suffered a muscle strain in the second half of the win over Luton just before the November international break.

Hojlund’s international team-mate Christian Eriksen will not be available due to a knee injury, while central defender Jonny Evans is not ready to return yet from a thigh problem.

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