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Erik ten Hag in ‘big trouble’ as Man Utd boss faces make or break week | Football | Sport

And in reality, Ten Hag’s side now need six points from their next two games to keep their hopes of Champions League qualification alive. The team finishing fifth in the Premier League are set to be handed a place at Europe’s top table next season, but the Red Devils are currently eight points adrift of that spot after Tottenham’s win over Luton on the weekend.

Former player Gary Neville was one of many pundits to offer a savage analysis of the display at the Gtech Community Stadium, labelling it a “horrible performance” and outlining his concerns for the visit of the Reds next Sunday. The Premier League leaders go to Old Trafford three days after United play at Chelsea, and will be seeking payback following their dramatic FA Cup defeat at the same venue next week.

“Just worrying signs really that you can get to that level of low in a performance,” he said, on The Gary Neville Podcast. “You think back to before the international break and where Manchester United were at. They had one of the most incredible moments and should be absolutely bouncing into Brentford.

“But then we saw what we saw. They won’t be that bad next week, they can’t be that bad. But if Liverpool do their jobs next week then Manchester United are going to be in a lot of trouble. There will be something different, it can’t get any worse.”

United are now unbeaten in five games in all competitions, but that hasn’t stopped the pressure mounting on manager Ten Hag. And with new minority stakeholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe linked with a summer swoop for England boss Gareth Southgate, the speculation will only ramp up if United under perform this week.

Neville also voiced concerns that the team appeared to be lacking direction on the field. And the Sky Sports pundit implied that the manager was responsible for the apparent lack of togetherness.

“I’m not saying the defenders or midfield players are blameless because they could do a lot better themselves,” he added. “But there’s just not a unity at all. There’s no idea of how to defend or how to play without the ball.”

Ten Hag himself has frequently been defiant over his future, reiterating he’s only focussed on the job in hand. But notably, Ratcliffe has declined to publicly back the Dutchman, and is expected to sanction an overhaul of club personnel this summer. This week could go some way to deciding whether or not the manager is part of that overhaul.

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