Pressure mounts on Man United boss Erik ten Hag as Bayern Munich clash looms

4 days ago 23

LONDON – Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is starting to feel the heat from frustrated fans following a disastrous start to the season that has left hopes of English Premier League glory already looking forlorn.

For the first time in the Premier League era, United have lost three of their opening five games and face a daunting task to open their Champions League campaign away to Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

Ten Hag – who was credited for returning the Red Devils to the Champions League by finishing third in the Premier League last season and winning the League Cup – had been sheltered from criticism in the early weeks of the campaign amid a series of off-field issues.

The sale of the club is in limbo, winger Antony has been given a leave of absence to fight domestic abuse allegations, while fellow forward Mason Greenwood has been loaned to Spanish side Getafe after United fans protested against his return as his attempted rape charges were dropped.

Ten Hag had little control over those problems. But he was the target for a chorus of boos when he substituted new striker signing and fan favourite Rasmus Hojlund midway through the second half against Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend, especially when United lacked firepower and lost 3-1 in the end.

Ultimately, patience is wearing thin among fans, as it usually is when the team are on a poor run, and it could be worse if United suffered another defeat on Wednesday.

“It’s about character,” ten Hag said when asked when he wants to see from his players for the Bayern clash.

“We need character, belief, resilience, determination. We have to see how strong we are, how the team sticks together and which players are standing up and leading the team.

“Bayern Munich, I think, is one of the favourites to win the Champions League, so we have to be good there.”

To add to United’s woes going forward, winger Jadon Sancho is also absent from first-team action indefinitely due to a spat with ten Hag, while there are about nine players injured or not up to full fitness.

With all these issues, the pressure is on the manager to lift the mood in the club with an upturn in results on the pitch.

But United will probably face the toughest of tests on Wednesday.

Despite domestic dominance which has seen Bayern win the past 11 German Bundesliga titles, th...

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