Manchester United’s Path to Top-4 Finish Still Viable, Asserts Ten Hag

Manchester United’s head coach Erik ten Hag expressed confidence in his team’s ability to bridge the eight-point gap with Aston Villa for a coveted top-four finish in the Premier League, despite their recent unexpected defeat to Fulham.

Fulham stunned a lackluster United 2-1 thanks to a goal from Alex Iwobi late into stoppage time. It was the London team’s first victory at Old Trafford since 2003 and only its second in 61 years.

Manchester United’s Path to Top-4 Finish Still Viable, Asserts Ten Hag

Iwobi’s strike in the 97th minute dampened the euphoria that had been building at Old Trafford, even if United had won its previous five league games.

Ten Hag told reporters, “I said from January on we are (playing) finals, and we won many finals.” “We lost one final now.”
After 26 games, United is ranked sixth with 44 points, while Villa, who defeated Nottingham Forest 4-2 on Saturday, has 52.

Three days prior to United’s defeat, Jim Ratcliffe, the new co-owner, had promised to topple Liverpool and Manchester City, the team’s bitter rivals.

Ten Hag expressed optimism for the future while acknowledging that the squad has been severely impacted by injuries. The most recent absences are defender Luke Shaw and striker Rasmus Hojlund, who had scored in United’s previous six league games.

Ten Hag stated, “You have to look at the bigger picture, and the bigger picture looks very good.” “We will be more balanced when we recover from the injuries and catch up in several positions.

“We are moving in the appropriate way. We also have a strong team when all of the squad’s players are available.
Hojlund was much missed, according to defender Harry Maguire, who scored United’s equalizer against Fulham.

“He has been a major source of focus for us, but we must identify the problems and areas for improvement,” Maguire remarked. “It’s the tale of our season; like other teams, we’ve been hit by injuries and need to quickly find a solution.”

With an FA Cup fifth-round match against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday and the Manchester derby versus City at the Etihad Stadium the following weekend, United won’t have much time to find one.

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