Erik ten Hag’s position at Man Utd is being questioned by some
Danny Mills has urged Manchester United against sacking Erik ten Hag despite the disastrous start to his second season as manager. But the former Premier League star believes Ten Hag is the fourth United boss to fall victim to a curse that has plagued the club since Sir Alex Ferguson’s 2013 retirement.
The Red Devils’ midweek defeat at FC Copenhagen was their ninth in 17 games this term, leaving them on the brink of a Champions League group-stage exit.
A Carabao Cup fourth-round exit, inconsistent Premier League results and a startling loss of Ten Hag’s formidable home record have added to the rising pressure on the Dutchman.
But Mills is convinced Ten Hag needs time to fully realise his vision at Old Trafford, insisting his often-criticised strict philosophy is necessary to take United back where they need to be.
“I think I would leave Erik ten Hag in the job. He is a coach who wants to improve individuals, and that can sometimes take time,” Mills told Express Sport with Grosvenor Sport.
“Some people don’t like his authoritarian way of going about things, but you need that, you know.
“You need discipline, you’ve got to have a work ethic, you’ve got to have discipline. And it takes time to implement that.”
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Ten Hag is United’s fifth permanent manager since Sir Alex’s exit. David Moyes is the only one to receive less than at least two seasons.
However, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – who is the only boss to record back-to-back top-three finishes since Sir Alex but failed to win silverware – struggled to build on early success.
And Mills believes Ten Hag is continuing that worrying trend but backs him to achieve long-term glory with the right figures around him.
He added: “He had a very, very good season last season. It hasn’t gone so well this season, but can you tell me a manager who has had two good back-to-back seasons since Alex Ferguson left? No, is the answer.
“No one has improved season on season, you know. Can you find me a manager who has had two good back-to-back seasons?
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“You’re looking at Louis van Gaal, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Jose Mourinho, Ralf Rangnick was in there for a while, David Moyes, you’ve had some exceptional managers, but none of them have been able to put back-to-back seasons together.
“So, this is not just a Ten Hag problem; this is a problem that goes deeper than that, and if you want to sort that out, you’ve got to make changes. I still think it’s a project for Erik ten Hag.
“I know the Man United fans will be disappointed. He hasn’t got it right perfectly so far, but he’s got Steve McLaren there.
“He’s a very, very good coach. He’s got good people around him. And I think if he’s given time, they will get better.”
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