LONDON: Manchester United need to win at FC Copenhagen in the Champions League action tomorrow (early Thursday morning) to avoid early elimination.
The three-time European champions beat the Danish squad 1-0 at Old Trafford last month and were saved by goalkeeper Andre Onana who saved a late penalty.
Humiliating defeats at the hands of Manchester City and Newcastle added to the pressure on Erik ten Hag, which was only eased slightly by a 1-0 win over Fulham on Saturday.
United are currently third in Group A, six points behind leaders Bayern Munich and one behind Galatasaray.
If they fail to win in Copenhagen, Galatasaray can eliminate United when the two meet in Istanbul on November 29.
United fans are starting to get tired of the team’s erratic performance, but Ten Hag still has the strong support of the club’s owners.
After excelling in his first season at Old Trafford, winning the League Cup and finishing third in the Premier League, Ten Hag’s men have had a poor start to the season.
United also lost their first two Champions League group stage games for the first time.
Among the criticisms of Ten Hag is that he is too focused on the player market in the Netherlands.
The eight players he signed were from the Dutch League and almost all of them struggled to adapt in the English Premier League.
Ten Hag was also criticized for failing to implement its own style of play, but it was also affected by injuries to key players.
Veteran centre-back Jonny Evans, who returned to the club to help United’s defence, believes the absence of several players has affected the squad.
“I think the manager finds it difficult to manage the team, tactically and having to change players frequently with only two days off between games,” Evans said.
Portuguese playmaker Bruno Fernandes has also been inconsistent in a squad that has only scored 12 goals in 11 English Premier League games this season.
Ten Hag hopes that Fernandes’ winning goal against Fulham will help the new captain who was appointed last July.