Saturday, October 1, 2022

Ten Hag planning for Ronaldo stay & remaining ´alert´ for Man Utd incomings

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 27 Aug 2022

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Erik ten Hag plans to keep Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United after their valuable win at Southampton, as he revealed his club are “alert” to the possibility of incomings.

Bruno Fernandes scored a terrific goal to guide United to a 1-0 win at St Mary’s on Saturday, doubling their Premier League points tally for the season and handing Ten Hag his first back-to-back victories at the helm.

As well as claiming their first consecutive league wins since February, when they beat Brighton and Hove Albion and Leeds United, the Red Devils ended a seven-match away losing run. 

While United offered a glimpse of their potential under Ten Hag with a professional display on the south coast, movement is expected at Old Trafford before the transfer window closes on Thursday.

Ronaldo continues to be linked with an exit after starting just once this season, while Eredivisie duo Antony and Cody Gakpo have been touted as attacking targets.

While Ten Hag is still eyeing further additions, he insists Ronaldo remains in his thoughts, telling BT Sport: “We plan with him, we stick to the plan.

“If a good player is available, we will strike, because we want to strengthen the squad always. We will be alert until the last second of the window.”

United have improved dramatically since they were comprehensively outplayed by Brighton and Brentford in Ten Hag’s first two games in charge, and the Dutchman was satisfied with their latest performance.

“I think they learned some lessons from Brentford, it’s quite clear. We were compact on their long balls, so that was quite good,” he added.

“Of course, we are really happy with this result and also the goal we made. We also made two or three more really good chances, but you hope that you keep more control in the last 30 minutes of the game.

“Don’t forget that before half-time we already had the biggest chance of the game, and it was three in one play! I was satisfied and at the start of the game, with better decisions and switches of play, we could have created more.

“But it’s the start of the season. It’s tough. You have to get into the season, and you have to fight and battle and we did that, then you get rewarded.”

Fernandes was the star of the show on Saturday, scoring his 37th Premier League goal for United as he donned the captain’s armband – only Mohamed Salah (54), Harry Kane (49) and Son Heung-min (45) have outscored the Portugal midfielder in the Premier League since his 2020 debut.

And Ten Hag said his well-worked strike typifies the style of football he wants to implement at Old Trafford. 

“It was a fantastic finish and I’m really happy for him, his first goal of the season, which is really good,” Ten Hag said.

“But I think it was the best part from us, straight after half-time. That is what we demand, you get movement around, and straight after half-time we created three really good chances.

“That is how I see football, how I want us to play.

“There is still room for improvement, to control more, break more or keep better positions in some stages of the game. We are not that long in our way, like every team, but there we can improve.”

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