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Erik ten Hag: ‘There is huge pressure on many clubs in top-four race’

Erik ten Hag: ‘There is huge pressure on many clubs in top-four race’

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag has said that there is huge pressure on “the seven or eight clubs” battling to finish in the top four in the Premier League this season.

The Red Devils are preparing to resume their league campaign on December 27, with Nottingham Forest making the trip to Old Trafford.

Man United are currently fifth in the table, three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, with a game in hand on Antonio Conte‘s side.

Ten Hag believes that his side will have “a good chance of getting into the top four” providing that they continue on the right path.

“We are aware. The competition is tough, but I think it counts for all of the seven or eight clubs who are competing for the top four,” Ten Hag told reporters.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag pictured on October 19, 2022© Reuters

“For those who follow the Premier League, it is great because it is exciting and you have to battle for everyone to get those points.

“What I am looking at is the process and how we are performing, we have to get the results and then also we have to make the right progress, and then we have a good chance of getting into the top four.”

Ten Hag also said that he ‘understands’ why being Man United head coach brings added pressure.

“I get it and I understand it. This is also the same for the manager of Chelsea and for Newcastle United. At all of those clubs, they invest a lot in their clubs, there is a big pressure at all of those clubs because they all want to get into the top four. We want to fight for those [other] trophies and that is clear,” he added.

The Dutchman, meanwhile, has opened up on the difficulties that come with preparing to resume a league season following the World Cup.

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag on August 7, 2022© Reuters

“It is. When we had a plan on how to do it, how to manage the load of the players, it is all individual based and we have to manage the load of the players. No-one is the same and no has the same programme or the same minutes, they are all playing in different positions and they are all at different ages,” he said.

“We are really trying to cater for everyone’s plans but we know the restart is five or six days after a World Cup final. We all know that after a World Cup, the Premier League continues quickly and everyone has to be ready for that.

“You have to accept it for the managers, the coaching staff and also the players. They have to accept it and they want trophies, so we want to have a strong team to battle for the trophies.

“We have just spoken about the competition for that and be ready for it but it is not easy, nothing in top-level football is easy. We have to do it smartly, that is clear and hopefully we get the right results and the right performance.”

Man United have won eight, drawn two and lost four of their 14 Premier League matches this season, and they recorded a 2-1 victory over Fulham in their last league game before the season was halted.

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