Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag admits he is under 'pressure', with sack potentially looming: report

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford on September 16, 2023 in Manchester, United Kingdom.
(Image credit: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has addressed the fact that he could well be dismissed for the club's awful start to the season.

The Red Devils have lost three of their opening five fixtures, with their two victories over Wolverhampton Wanderers and Nottingham Forest both unconvincing. Manchester United were comfortably second-best in trips to north London, too, with Tottenham and Arsenal beating them by two goals each.

At the weekend, United suffered another poor defeat, with Brighton & Hove Albion compounding matters. Ten Hag's side were booed by Old Trafford – and the Dutchman himself was booed when Rasmus Hojlund was substituted in the second half for Anthony Martial. 

Erik ten Hag, Manager of Manchester United, interacts with Rasmus Hojlund of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford on September 16, 2023 in Manchester, England.

The United faithful were outraged that Hojlund was substituted (Image credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images)

“The pressure is always there. It was last year and this year is no different,” Ten Hag admitted, when asked if he was feeling under the cosh at current. 

“Of course, at United, you have to win your games. We have to improve and I can’t be distracted. We have to improve. Individuals have to step up. Sometimes you are in bad periods and you have to face that.”

Bayern Munich could yet pile more misery onto Ten Hag's team this week as the three-time Champions League winners travel to Bavaria for their opening European fixture. With Ten Hag coming under significant criticism for his management of the side, his big game record and his recruitment, this is an opportunity to turn things around – but the Dutchman has recognised that he will be for the chop if things don't turn around.

Harry Kane

Bayern lie in waiting for Manchester United (Image credit: Getty Images)

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

"But I think I have already explained what we need there - we need character, belief, resilience, determination – absolutely.”

More Manchester United stories

Barcelona are reportedly weighing up a January loan move for Manchester United outcast Jadon Sancho.

Meanwhile, United could make a big attacking signing of their own: the 'new Maradona' has been linked with a switch to Old Trafford.

And £72m summer arrival Rasmus Hojlund has been compared to former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner...

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Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.