Erik ten Hag admits Manchester United need to get Old Trafford rocking in a bid to put their season back on track.
United host high-flying Aston Villa on Boxing Day, three days after slumping to a 2-0 defeat at West Ham, in what will be their first game since it was announced that Sir Jim Ratcliffe has agreed to buy a 25 per cent stake in the club.
The Hammers defeat was their 13th loss in 26 matches this term, and a 20th defeat in 2023 – their worst tally in a calendar year since 1989.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 23, 2023
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp criticised the atmosphere at Anfield following their Carabao Cup win over the Hammers last week, and Ten Hag knows he needs to give the Old Trafford faithful something to shout about.
“I am sure they are very disappointed in us and we have to put things right and do things different,” said the United chief.
“We appreciate all the time they are supporting us. With all the setbacks this season, they are all the time behind us and we really appreciate that. Of course we need any help but first of all I and the team have to do it.”
United have suffered their most defeats before Christmas since 1931, and need to bounce back against a Villa side threatening an unlikely title challenge.
“Villa is a different side in very good form, a very good team,” added Ten Hag.
“If you are creating the chances you have to take them, otherwise you don’t win games. That’s clear.
“I am not disappointed by the attitude, but of course we know what the standard is at Manchester United.
“We have to win as a team therefore responsibility we have to take as a team and every individual has to contribute 100 per cent in that responsibility.”
Ten Hag hopes to be able to call on centre-half Raphael Varane, who missed the defeat at West Ham through illness, while winger Amad Diallo could also be involved having returned to training after a knee injury.
United fans will be heading to Old Trafford in the wake of the Christmas Eve announcement that Ineos Group chairman Ratcliffe has agreed a £1.25billion deal with the Glazer family, the club’s American owners.
Ratcliffe, 71, a boyhood United fan, will inject around £236million, with Ineos set to take over the management of the club’s football operations.