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Ten Hag relying on 'common sense' of Man United owners when they decide his fate

Erik Ten Hag Erik Ten Hag - The Canadian Press

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag offered a defense of their worst season in decades Friday and argued the club owners will be sympathetic at the end of the campaign.

United hosts title-chasing Arsenal on Sunday and sits outside the automatic European places after being routed 4-0 at Crystal Palace.

Ten Hag's team faces Manchester City in the FA Cup final but even a victory on May 25 at Wembley Stadium might not save his job. Dutch countryman Louis van Gaal won the 2016 FA Cup and was fired two days later.

Ten Hag was asked Friday if he's concerned about a repeat scenario.

“No, I think they (the owners) have common sense,” he said at a news conference.

“They see when you have 32 different back lines, when you use eight center backs, if they see we use 13 partnerships in center half, when they see we don’t have a left full back, when we have so many injuries, they know that will have a negative impact on the results.

“And still we are fighting, and (have) a huge FA Cup final. We are very happy to be there. It can still be a highlight for this season. Of course we are not happy but we know the reasons why we are underperforming in the rankings. It’s the injuries. No team will perform when you have so many injuries in key areas.”

Ten Hag said he doesn't need a public vote of confidence from the owners: “I don’t care if they do or they don’t. I'm working on improving my team.”

Bruno Fernandes and Scott McTominay have returned to training but United will be without Mason Mount for Sunday's game against Arsenal.

Ten Hag said Mount — an expensive offseason signing — “fell out (of contention)” because of an unspecified injury.

The 25-year-old midfielder has made just 19 appearances for United in an injury-plagued season after joining from Chelsea. Mount played 80 minutes against Crystal Palace on Monday.

After Arsenal, United hosts Newcastle in midweek before the league season finale at Brighton. Then the FA Cup final, where United could secure a Europa League spot if it wins.

Mount has been “very unlucky” with injuries this season, Ten Hag said.

“The last four seasons, he (only) had a small issue in the end of his Chelsea career. Before that, he played almost all the games three seasons after each other, with three days turnaround, he always played. It’s really bad luck what happened to him and he’s a very good player and we really missed him across the season.”


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