Erik ten Hag backs Man Utd stars over on-field strops and uses surprise player as example of GOOD body language

ERIK TEN HAG is happy for his stroppy stars to carry on moaning claiming it shows how much they care.

And he reckons their on-field tantrums can actually help drag Manchester United back to the glory days.

Erik ten Hag is not concerned over player tantrums


Erik ten Hag is not concerned over player tantrumsCredit: PA
Bruno Fernandes' antics have been criticised


Bruno Fernandes’ antics have been criticisedCredit: Rex

Captain Bruno Fernandes and his arm-waving antics have come under the sharpest focus and the Red Devils skipper never hides his feelings when things do not go his way.

Pundits and ex-pros have slammed his public shows of dissent, insisting he should stick to getting his own game in order instead of trying to blame others around him.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, whose Treble-winning champions face United in today’s Manchester derby, once memorably warned striker Erling Haaland his body language had to improve.

Yet on the eve of the derby at the Etihad, United boss Ten Hag has admitted he has no problem with his players letting off steam and claims it can be an inspiration.

The Dutchman said: “Of course it is important because it gives an expression and football is such a psychological game, win or lose.

“You have to take everything you can and use it to your advantage, so when your body language can be positive, and your expression, you use it for the good of your own team.

“What you see is the character of a player expressed in their body language and that is not a thing that you can change in a short time.


“Bruno is a good example of this.

“I have seen he wants to win and so he shows his emotion and that is an absolute strength from him to push his own team.

Man Utd & Man City Premier League combined XI

“He shows how much he wants to win so that others around him pick it up and go and fight with it.”

Winger Jack Grealish is definitely out of the derby after picking up a groin injury in the midweek Cup win over Luton.

And it could be too soon for City defender Josko Gvardiol who is close to a return from an ankle injury.

But Ten Hag is confident centre-half Raphael Varane and talisman Fernandes will recover from knocks in the Cup win at Nottingham Forest.

Defenders Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka plus striker Rasmus Hojlund will all miss the derby.

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