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Erik ten Hag reveals main issue with Man Utd’s awful 2023/24 season

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag believes injuries are the main reason behind their poor 2023/24 season so far.

The Red Devils fell to their ninth loss in 20 Premier League games this term on Saturday night with a dismal 2-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest. Nicolas Dominguez opened the scoring for the hosts just after the hour mark before Matt Turner gifted Marcus Rashford an equaliser, only for Morgan Gibbs-White to go back down the other end and grab the winner.

Once again, United dealt their fans another false dawn after coming from two goals down to beat Aston Villa 3-2 in an enthralling encounter on Boxing Day, only to lose while playing so timidly days later.

United were without the hero of that Boxing Day clash in Rasmus Hojlund due to illness, while the likes of Lisandro Martinez, Casemiro, Mason Mount and Harry Maguire all missed the trip to the City Ground due to injuries. Ten Hag preached post-match that the inability to consistently play a strong team has hurt their ambitions this season.

Jonny Evans

Man Utd were poor again / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

When asked by Sky Sports what the main issue has been with United’s campaign so far, Ten Hag replied: “The injuries. Also some issues but mainly the injuries hold us back in the process. In January we have a lot of players returning so then our levels can be higher.”

Ten Hag added: “It’s clear the result is very disappointing. We should have invested more in these moments. We created less before half-time. We didn’t do [enough]. The second half was better.

“We are losing the game by a goal and you saw the fight in the team. We had our chances, the football in the second half was better. They kept believing and going until the end but of course when the result is this, we are disappointed.

“The players are not happy with this but we have to do better. We haven’t played with the same team in a row. We had to change again so every time we have to swap our team. That doesn’t help or support the routines of the team and it explains why you are so inconsistent.

“We had nine different partnerships in the back. It doesn’t matter as well, the fans don’t want to hear this, they want to see us winning and that is what we have to serve them.”

United have dropped to seventh in the Premier League table but could sit as low as ninth by the time they return to action if Brighton & Hove Albion and Newcastle United win their games in hand.


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