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‘Laughing stock’

And the pressure is on for Erik ten Hag to avoid an embarrassing defeat at Wigan – or else it could be curtains.

That is according to Mark Lawrenson.

The former Liverpool defender told Paddy Power: “After Manchester United’s lacklustre performance against Nottingham Forest, if they lost to Wigan, Erik ten Hag would have to say, ‘Thank you but no thank you’, because that’s the worst result possible for them, no disrespect to Wigan. 

“With Sir Jim Ratcliffe, he’s gone through five managers in OGC Nice.

“With Manchester United, there are so many other things as well – the roof needs fixing, they will be selling people in the January transfer window, and the club needs a major overhaul, so what does he do? 

“If Ten Hag loses at Wigan, he has to go – it’s become a laughing stock.” 

United team news

Rasmus Hojlund was absent for the defeat to Nottingham Forest due to illness but could be back in contention.

Luke Shaw also didn’t feature at the City Ground after sitting out with a minor issue.

Andre Onana has delayed linking up with Cameroon for Afcon so he can play between the sticks against Wigan on Monday night and Tottenham on January 14.

But Sofyan Amrabat has already flown off to join the Morroco squad, meaning he will be unavailable for the trip to the DW.

Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro returned to training this week, but the Wigan clash may come too soon.

Harry Maguire, Tyrell Malacia, Mason Mount, Victor Lindelof and Anthony Martial are expected to remain out.

Short trip to Wigan

Manchester United have finally been given an away draw in a domestic cup competition – but they still only have to travel 25 miles to Wigan’s DW Stadium.

The Red Devils will be hoping to go one better than their FA Cup run last year as they lost in the final to rivals Manchester City.

And they begin their 2023-24 campaign with a trip to League One Wigan.

Kick-off is 8.15pm with the game live on ITV1.

Ratcliffe’s stirring speech

Sir Jim Ratcliffe delivered a rousing and ‘liberating’ speech at Carrington.

The new 25 per cent owner and Sir Dave Brailsford were at the club yesterday as they continue getting to know employees.

And he is said to have praised the commercial success of the club while also giving a blunt assessment of the decline on the pitch side Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

To accomplish his goals of winning trophies, Ratcliffe wants to build an elite enviornment at the club, with Brailsford addressing the need to overcome United’s “performance challenge” – with Erik ten Hag’s side having lost 14 matches this season.

Credit: Getty
Credit: Getty

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