Manchester United U21s coach Tom Huddlestone has stated the players are still in support of Erik ten Hag and has highlighted the club’s injury crisis as the reason they have struggled so far this season.
“I know the league position isn’t where the club wants to be, but I believe things are on the right trajectory,” stated Huddlestone. “Like Scott [McTominay] has said, I think the manager has good ideas, and we saw in patches last year that the lads are buying into that.
Consistency has been an issue that has plagued Ten Hag’s side so far this season. United currently sit in seventh place in the Premier League, having failed to win three consecutive league games all season.
But, it is United’s injury crisis that Huddlestone believes has stopped Ten Hag from getting the best out of his side:
“I have this argument regularly with United fans and other fans. When Newcastle have a few injuries, or Tottenham have injuries, that’s their excuse for not getting results.
“For stages of this season Manchester United have not had their strongest back four from last season, [Mason] Mount and Casemiro have been missing, Antony was missing.
“You’ve almost got six or seven players who realistically would be in the first starting eleven, but that sort of gets brushed under the carpet if the results aren’t going well.
“The lads seem to be buying into the managers’ ideas. Patience is needed with a lot of managers, and it’ll be interesting to see what the club can do when he has a fully fit squad of his own signings.
With his first-hand experience watching and coaching United’s U21s team, Huddlestone has explained how he believes a mixture of youth and experience can bring Ten Hag long-term success:
“If you can have a bit of experience potentially though the spine of the team, then blend in your Kobbie Mainoo’s, [Alejandro] Garnacho, Willy Kambwala, Dan Gore, who have been in and around the first team this season. I think you can get a lot of success that way.”
Several of those names mentioned by Huddlestone played an important role in United’s U18s 21/22 FA Youth Cup victory. The current U18s have often been compared to that team, with their differences highlighted following their cup exit earlier this week.
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