Man United Manager Ten Hag Confident in Retaining Job Despite Difficult Season

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Erik ten Hag is confident he will remain as the Manchester United manager next season after discussions with the club leadership before the FA Cup final on Saturday.

The Dutchman has led United through its worst season in 34 years, resulting in its lowest finish in the English Premier League era at eighth place.

Reports emerged on Friday suggesting that he could be sacked even if he wins the Cup against league champions Manchester City at Wembley.

Ten Hag confirmed that he has already spoken with new co-owner Jim Ratcliffe to evaluate the season and expressed that he does not require assurances about his future.

“It is not necessary, we will proceed to the next season,” he stated, also mentioning plans for a vacation starting Sunday.

Several potential successors to Ten Hag have been mentioned, including Mauricio Pochettino, Thomas Tuchel, Kieran McKenna, Thomas Frank, and England manager Gareth Southgate, if he is dismissed.

British billionaire Ratcliffe purchased a 27.7% stake in United in February and immediately set the goal for Ten Hag to secure Champions League qualification, which was not achieved.

Former United managers David Moyes and Louis van Gaal were relieved of their duties after failing to secure Champions League qualification, while Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also departed in seasons where it became evident they would not secure a spot among Europe's elite.

If United clinch the FA Cup, the best outcome for Ten Hag would be qualification for the Europa League.

Prior to the final, City manager Pep Guardiola expressed sympathy for Ten Hag, who has had to manage a multitude of injuries. United will be missing defenders Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw for the final.

However, Guardiola acknowledged that the pressure will be on his counterpart if he is unable to deliver a trophy. “So, in big clubs like United and City, when you don’t win, you are always in trouble. It is not a secret,” he remarked. “We have accomplished what we set out to do, but I would be facing trouble if we don't win.”

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