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We can’t win with a team with so many injuries – Ten Hag after 0-1 loss to Arsenal


Following Arsenal’s 1-0 victory at Old Trafford, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag likened managing the club to “swimming with your hands behind your back.”

The defeat marked United’s record ninth home loss of the season and left them with slim chances of securing European qualification.

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Leandro Trossard’s first-half goal propelled Arsenal to the top of the Premier League table ahead of the final week of the season.

Meanwhile, Manchester United, who have only won one of their last nine games across all competitions (against relegated Sheffield United), find themselves in a challenging position.

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Ten Hag once again faced defensive challenges, with midfielder Casemiro filling in at centre-back due to an injury crisis. Notable absentees due to injury included Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire, and Mason Mount.

Citing the team’s extensive injury problems, Ten Hag expressed the increasing difficulty of his job. As a former coach of Ajax, he finds himself navigating a challenging season at Manchester United.

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“Any manager can always do something better, but I am two years here and I had only one time the full group of players, and you cannot progress a team with so many injuries,” Ten Hag said. “It is like swimming with your hands behind your back. You have to keep your head above water and we are trying to do that.

“It shouldn’t be like this, but I return to all the problems we have and you then analyse the performance. You have to see that we were competitive, but that is not what you want, of course; we have to win, we have to win every game.
“But at the moment, we are not at this position and definitely not this team with the injuries.”

Manchester United have two potential paths to securing qualification for the Europa League. The first is by defeating Manchester City in the upcoming FA Cup final later this month. Alternatively, they could secure a victory against sixth-place Newcastle at Old Trafford on Wednesday, preceding the final weekend.

However, there’s a risk of seventh-place Chelsea overtaking United for the Europa League spot, depending on the results.

Manager Erik ten Hag emphasised the importance of securing European qualification, highlighting the potential consequences of missing out.

It would be a significant blow for United to miss out on European competition altogether, especially considering their consistent participation over the past decade.

“It is very damaging,” he said. “That is the situation we are in, but still we can get there. We have the opportunities to take them and fight, even when the problems are massive, everyone knows this.

“We have to deserve it, especially the fans; they follow us on Monday [at Crystal Palace], and they understand the position we are in. Today they are behind us from the first whistle, they see the team needs backing and support, so we are united and that is very good.”

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