Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel believes Erik ten Hag deserves more time at Old Trafford to turn things right, despite the uncertainty surrounding his future.
The 20-time English champions have lost eight of their first 15 games of the 2023-24 season, their worst start since 1962-63.
Back-to-back home games Ten Hag’s employment as head coach is under threat after 3-0 losses to Manchester City and Newcastle United.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is poised to buy 25% of the Red Devils, is said to have already agreed to replace the Dutchman with Brighton & Hove Albion manager Roberto De Zerbi.
However, Schmeichel, one of the club’s finest goalkeepers, has stated that the “players must step up,” saying that now is the moment to back the manager.
“At times, it appears that certain players only play with certain players and not with others. There is no doubt that players must step up,” the former goalkeeper told BBC Sport.
“We can talk about ownership and management of a football club, but the people who work on the field are the most important.”
“They have to fight out there.” You have to question where they were mentally against Newcastle. The bare minimum you can do is run and fight, but this isn’t always possible.
“It requires a change in mentality and approach to everything, which the manager must assist players with.” Is he a demanding boss? Is he in charge of a really disciplined locker room?
“I’m not sure about it. But if he is, relax your grasp a little. Make the players feel better because everything is now about them. This is the time when we must all come together to support the manager and allow him to get through this difficult period.
“We have already tried and gone through caretaker managers such as [David] Moyes, [Louis] van Gaal, [Jose] Mourinho, [Ole Gunnar] Solskjaer, [Ralf] Rangnick, [Ryan] Giggs, and [Michael] Carrick.” Nothing helped. Since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure, we have never won the Premier League.
“Some of those managers will claim to have achieved great things, but they never developed the club or moved it forward.” This is a direct effect of what we are witnessing right now.
“Erik has a huge job on his hands, but if we love Manchester United, we have to come in and support him.” Our own fans chanted, ‘You’re getting sacked in the morning,’ during the game against Newcastle. That’s not ideal. That is not how Manchester United is supported.”
Man United will look to rebound from consecutive Premier League defeats to Manchester City and Newcastle when they travel to Fulham on Saturday afternoon.