Man United's Onana on Ten Hag: 'I'm not here to back him'

May 24, 2024, 7:39 AM

Manchester United goalkeeper André Onana has praised Erik ten Hag amid serious doubts about the manager's future at the club but said he is "not here to back" the Dutchman.

Ten Hag is under severe pressure at Old Trafford after United recorded their worst-ever finish in the Premier League and missed out on a place in the Champions League.

- Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

Onana, who also worked with Ten Hag at Ajax, said the 54-year-old is a quality coach but said he doesn't need backing despite the possibility he could be sacked after the FA Cup final against Manchester City on Saturday.

"He's a good guy, a good coach," Onana said.

"Tactically he's very good, and he showed it last season. I was not here last season and they got top four. This season a lot of things happened. I'm not here to back him. He is big enough to back himself, but he is a really good guy, he is a positive coach and tactically he's good."

Ten Hag's future is in doubt after leading United to an eighth-place finish in the Premier League. It means they will have to beat City at Wembley on Saturday to qualify for Europe next season.

Injuries to key players, including  Lisandro Martínez and Luke Shaw, haven't helped, and Onana has admitted it's been a "difficult" campaign for the United boss.

"If [Ten Hag] had all his squad, it would probably be different," Onana said.

"This season is difficult for him, for us, for the club, for the fans because it is frustrating for the fans when they are coming away and how we are losing, it is difficult."

Ten Hag has selection decisions to make ahead of the cup final, including whether to bring Marcus Rashford back into his starting XI.

Rashford scored 30 goals last season but has managed just eight this term. The dip in form has seen him miss out on a place in the England squad for Euro 2024, but Onana said the 26-year-old will bounce back.

"How many goals did he score last season? How many goals did he score this season? We are talking about the same player," Onana said.

"He's a bad player? So last season he was good, this season he is bad? No. It is just a moment. You can have a bad season, you can have a bad start. But the most important thing is how you end, and Rashy, for me, is one of the best players in the world.

"But he is facing difficulty, like us, not only him and me, but the whole club. And he will come back, and I know my killer will score some important goals for us. Hopefully Saturday he will score two and we win the FA Cup."