'You need a connection' - Ten Hag says Man Utd must rebuild relationship with fans at Old Trafford

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Erik ten Hag wave to fans 2022-23
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Erik ten Hag admitted Manchester United must work to rebuild fan trust after years of underwhelming performances and off-field drama.
  • One of new coach's big initiatives
  • Says football is about the fans
  • Wants to represent them better on the pitch

WHAT HAPPENED? Ten Hag acknowledged it's a work in progress as the club have struggled to be consistent. Last weekend, he apologised to supporters for a performance against Aston Villa he called "never acceptable". The Red Devils suffered a 3-1 defeat at Villa Park.

WHAT THEY SAID: "It was definitely one of our plans [to repair the relationship], part of our plan that we had," Ten Hag told ESPN. "You need a connection with the fans. Manchester United is that big in the world and you have to show commitment and make an engagement.

"You have to build a togetherness because also, we want to act like that on the pitch as well. The team has to understand that and everyone around Manchester United has to understand that the fans are there for us. You play football for your fans and we have to be aware of it."

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Manchester United are out of the Champions League and in fifth place in the Premier League - hardly the instant success fans hoped for when Ten Hag was appointed over the summer. But they've looked a different side since a nightmare first month, which brings some optimism to Old Trafford entering the World Cup break.

IN A PHOTO:

Ten Hag is working to restore faith in the club and its players.

Erik ten Hag sign autographs 2022-23

WHAT NEXT FOR MAN UTD? Even though the World Cup break arrives at the end of the week following a clash with Fulham, don't expect much rest for the players. Ten Hag said he will push for "highly competitive" training and exhibition match action for those who are not going to Qatar.

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