- Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag still has the support of the dressing room
- Ineos always planned to address Ten Hag’s situation at the end of the season
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Manchester United players are increasingly doubtful that manager Erik ten Hag will be in charge next season.
Ten Hag still has the support of the dressing room despite some complaints about the intensity of his training regime.
However, Mail Sport understands that many in the United squad believe Ineos’ new co-owners are likely to make a change at the end of the season and sack the Dutchman after two years in charge.
Although Ten Hag insists he is on the same page as Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his Ineos sporting director Sir Dave Brailsford, and feels aligned with them thanks to positive conversations, he has confided to the coaching staff and agents that he has no guarantees about his future at Old Trafford.
After appointing Omar Berrada as United’s new chief executive and moving closer to bringing in Dan Ashworth as director of football, Ineos have always planned to address the Ten Hag situation at the end of the season.
Manchester United players have increasing doubts that Erik ten Hag will remain in charge next season
The Red Devils boss has struggled for consistency at times in his second term in charge.
Ten Hag believes he is still on the same page as new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe
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It is not impossible that the 54-year-old could get a stay of execution if he wins the FA Cup and qualifies for the Champions League, even if he finishes fifth.
But a second Premier League defeat in a week in Sunday’s Manchester derby left United behind Aston Villa and Tottenham in the race for the Champions League places, while Ten Hag’s side were drawn against Liverpool in the cup quarterfinals.
Injuries have severely affected the manager’s second season at the club, and on Monday it emerged that there have been 47 separate cases of players missing games due to injury or illness.
In the last two games alone, Bruno Fernandes, Raphael Varane, Marcus Rashford and Jonny Evans have all played half-fit, which in itself suggests loyalty to Ten Hag.
However, it was a surprise when Luke Shaw was put at risk against Luton last month, just a week after limping off at Aston Villa, resulting in a potentially season-ending injury.
There is discontent among some players about the intensity of training and the tough approach of the coach and his number 2, Mitchell van der Gaag.
Some players were unhappy that they were not given an extra day off after the Luton game despite United not having a midweek game.
There is a belief that Ten Hag needs to freshen up the sessions and be kinder to the players to keep them fit for the rest of the campaign.