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"We are big enough to accept the reality" - Manchester United man shares views on Erik ten Hag after "bad season"

© Reuters
Andre Onana admits that Manchester United have endured a "bad season" under manager Erik ten Hag, but he hopes that the Dutchman will be given a chance to turn the club's fortunes around.

Andre Onana has acknowledged that Manchester United have endured a "bad season" under Erik ten Hag, but he hopes that the Dutchman will be given a chance to turn the club's fortunes around.

The Red Devils' worst-ever Premier League finish of eighth place was confirmed last weekend despite ending the 2023-24 campaign with back-to-back wins over Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion.

Man United won 18, drew six and lost a club-record 14 of their 38 top-flight matches, and they finished 15 points and five places worse off than the previous campaign.

Ten Hag's side finished outside the top seven on goal difference and will fail to qualify for European competition next season unless they beat rivals Manchester City in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

Man United's Premier League finish, as well as a string of below-par performance throughout the season, has led to speculation over the long-term future of Ten Hag, with some reports suggesting that he will be relieved of his duties at the end of the season.

Manchester United's Andre Onana on September 26, 2023© Reuters

Onana: 'Ten Hag is big enough to back himself'

One of Ten Hag's signings from last summer was goalkeeper Onana, who had previously worked with the 54-year-old during his time at Ajax before enjoying a successful season at Inter Milan, which ultimately persuaded Man United to fork out close to £50m on the Cameroonian.

Onana, who has endured a challenging debut campaign at Old Trafford, has admitted that 2023-24 has not gone according to plan for both himself and the club, but he believes that Ten Hag is still the same person and manager he played under in Amsterdam.

Asked by former Man United defender Gary Neville on The Overlap whether Ten Hag has changed since joining the Red Devils and what are the main challenges that he has faced compared to his time at Ajax, Onana said: "I don't see any difference. I think he's the same guy.

"Listen, we are the same guys, we are the same players, he is the same manager that I knew in Ajax, he will not change in one or two years.

"I am not here to back him, because he's big enough to [back himself]. Last season, he was fantastic for him. So, it's just a bad season."

Manchester United's Andre Onana looks dejected on September 20, 2023© Reuters

Onana: 'Man Utd big enough to accept reality'

Onana added: "For me, last season I was the best, so for this season, we have a different goalkeeper? No, it's the same guy.

"[Ten Hag is] just facing difficult situations, and we are big enough to accept the reality, because if we want to make things well, we have to accept the reality and we have to go [in on the] front foot.

"I think he's the same manager. He's just facing different, difficult situations and hopefully things become good for him."

Ten Hag is hoping to be given a chance to prove himself at Man United by the club's new minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who now has full control of all football operations at Old Trafford.

The Dutchman has admitted that the Red Devils' Premier League campaign 'is not good enough' and he is keen to end the season on a high with victory in the FA Cup final.

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