Erik ten Hag dismissed any talk of Manchester United’s season being in crisis as he stressed “we are going in the right direction” following the 2-1 win over Chelsea.
United went into the contest at Old Trafford on the back of Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Newcastle, their 10th defeat in all competitions this term.
After Bruno Fernandes saw an early penalty saved by Robert Sanchez, a Scott McTominay brace, either side of Cole Palmer’s equaliser, secured United a victory that took them up to sixth in the Premier League table, three points behind fourth-placed defending champions Manchester City.
When asked at his post-match press conference what that said to him about a season that has felt like it has been in crisis, United boss Ten Hag said: “Crisis? Not for us.
“We keep calm, look at the process where we know where we have to build. We are going in the right direction.
“We don’t get distracted (by) criticism around us, but we are very critical on ourselves. We are not quickly satisfied and happy, we always want to do better. We have to improve a lot if we want to be successful – but this team is capable of being successful.”
There had been some reports ahead of the game that Ten Hag had lost the confidence of some of his players.
That led to United banning four media outlets for Tuesday’s pre-match press conference, with the club saying the action was taken for not “contacting us first to give us the opportunity to comment, challenge or contextualise.”
Ten Hag added: “Last week we played three games (a 3-0 win at Everton, 3-3 draw at Galatasaray and the Newcastle match). Two times we played good, and then one bad performance.
“But you see this team is in a good direction. I know sometimes you have a bad performance, but then still, you can get a result. That is the next step we have to make.
“But you see how we play, the style, so dominating the opponent, in and out of possession. That is the way I want to play. I was very pleased, it was very enjoyable how the team played.”