Soccer

Scott McTominay insists Man Utd players are ‘firmly behind’ Erik ten Hag

Manchester United endured another damaging defeat on Saturday (Martin Rickett/PA)
Manchester United endured another damaging defeat on Saturday (Martin Rickett/PA) Manchester United endured another damaging defeat on Saturday (Martin Rickett/PA)

Scott McTominay says Manchester United’s players are “firmly behind” Erik ten Hag and that there is none of the toxicity seen under previous managers.

It has been a roller-coaster ride with more lows than highs since Sir Alex Ferguson retired after winning his 13th and final league crown in 2013.

United have not managed so much as a sustained Premier League title push since then, with Ten Hag the fifth permanent boss entrusted with taking the club back to the top.

Bruno Fernandes
Bruno Fernandes Manchester United endured another damaging defeat on Saturday (Martin Rickett/PA)

The Dutchman is under scrutiny after Bournemouth condemned them to an 11th loss of the season and, having seen managers come and go, McTominay says the players are also accountable.

“It is the players’ responsibility, first and foremost – the players know that as well,” the United midfielder said.

“We have had many amazing players over the time, and I feel like now we’re at a stage we have big characters in the dressing room.

“It’s not just a case like with some of the other managers where it’s been a little bit toxic at times.

“The boys are firmly behind the manager, and that’s the be all and end all.

“I’ve said that in many other interviews and that’s the way it will remain to stay. We’ve got an amazing coaching staff as well.

“People can get lost in translation and carried away with what the players think and what they say behind closed doors.

“We just want to do well for the football club and it’s as simple as that.”

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is looking for a response to the Bournemouth debacle (Richard Sellers/PA)

Saturday’s lifeless 3-0 defeat by Bournemouth was the worst possible preparation for Tuesday’s crunch Champions League clash with Bayern Munich and the weekend trip to rivals Liverpool.

It was an alarming drop in standards from last week’s impressive 2-1 win against Chelsea, leading to an exasperated Ten Hag and captain Fernandes to bemoan their inconsistent performances.

“Obviously we know the inconsistencies we have had, we are not naive to that,” McTominay said. “We have spoken about it as a group, with the coaching staff.

“The schedule is relentless and we can’t blame it on a backlog of fixtures and stuff like that.

“But, for us, we have to come together as a group and figure it out where we are slightly inconsistent at this moment in time.

“The boys are honestly doing everything they can do to contribute and give their best whenever they approach the pitch.”

McTominay scored both of United’s goals in last Wednesday’s Old Trafford win against Chelsea, taking his tally to the season for six.

It has been quite the turnaround for the Scotland international, who was strongly linked with a summer move away from Old Trafford.

“There is always speculation and different things surrounding every player at Man United,” the homegrown midfielder said.

“You have to perform to stay at this football club. I’ve known that since I’ve been a young boy watching lots of senior pros come through and obviously academies player as well.

“For myself, it was a case of just get your head down and work and there’s not really much else to say other than that.”