Man Utd's Ten Hag says win ratio could be '75 percent' but for injuries

AFP , Friday 8 Mar 2024

Erik ten Hag believes he may have won up to three-quarters of his first 100 matches at Manchester United were it not for a punishing injury list that he said no team could cope with.

ten Hag
Manchester United s Dutch manager Erik ten Hag looks on during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on March 3, 2024. AFP


The Dutchman, who has struggled in his second season at Old Trafford, suffered a painful 3-1 defeat at rivals Manchester City last week as he brought up a century of matches in charge.

Ten Hag had to field a patched-up team against the Premier League champions and United will again be without a host of first-team players for Saturday's clash with relegation-threatened Everton.

Marcus Rashford and Jonny Evans have been passed fit after coming off in the Manchester derby but Omari Forson has joined the injury list.

Ten Hag won the League Cup in his first campaign and led the side to third in the Premier League but this season they are sixth, 11 points off fourth-placed Aston Villa with 11 games to go.

Defeat in next weekend's FA Cup quarter-final against Liverpool would end United's last remaining chance of silverware.

Injuries have played a key role and without such issues the Ten Hag believes he would have won far more than 61 of his first 100 matches.

"It tells that we are in the right direction," Ten Hag said on Friday of his win ratio.

"So, imagine if we had many more players available, not so many setbacks in injuries, it could have been easily 70 or 75 wins and that tells the bright future of this team when players are available.

"Because if you compare it, you compare it with other managers or other teams who were in a build-up stage, or with previous managers in this big club, then you can see there is a bright future.

"Also, I think it's a good balance in ages in this squad, with young players, middle-aged players, experienced players together.

"Imagine when they are available. As I said, we could have won 75 from 100 games and that's a big difference."

Lisandro Martinez, Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia are among those currently out of action, unbalancing a side clearly lacking strength in depth.

"No team can deal with this, with so many injuries," said Ten Hag. "I think we are playing to maximum levels if you take in the availability of the players.

"So, when you miss so many key players over many parts of the season, then obviously the results, the performances will not be (the same as) when the players are available.

"We have seen when the players were available like in January and February our performances were very good.

"And I think from that moment when the players were not even fit, they could have done even better when they are 100 percent fit in that moment but they were not."

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