Erik ten Hag acknowledges that some Manchester United players need motivation

Manchester United’s coach Erik ten Hag has openly stated that sometimes players need a “kick in the a***” to get the best out of them as the team prepares to face rivals Liverpool. In his second campaign as head coach, ten Hag has faced challenges with half of the team’s 24 matches resulting in defeats. The recent back-to-back losses to Bournemouth and Bayern Munich have put his position under scrutiny as United has fallen well short of their previous season’s standards.

The form of many high-performing players has dropped off, including forward Marcus Rashford who scored 30 club goals last season but has only scored two this season. When asked about what approach he believes would benefit Rashford, Ten Hag emphasized the need to choose the right method for each player, whether it be an arm around the shoulder or a kick in the a***.

While Ten Hag will be hoping for a better performance, United will be dealing with up to 11 first-team absentees when they face Liverpool, a team that beat them 7-0 during their last visit to Anfield in March. Ten Hag, however, remains optimistic and maintains a strong belief in winning, based on his team’s principles and game plan.

He has noticed the quality on the training pitch and believes in the players’ abilities, but acknowledges that they need to be more consistent as a team. Many questions have arisen about Ten Hag’s long-term future at United, with the team under-performing after a promising first season. The uncertainty has been fueled by the Glazers’ dithering and the protracted partial takeover of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s group, but Ten Hag has focused on his job of developing the team.

The Dutchman has not spoken to Ineos during their recent visits to the club and has been waiting for the strategic review to unfold. His focus remains on performing with the team and developing them, as he continues to navigate the challenges of managing a high-profile team like Manchester United.

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