Guardiola: Ten Hag at risk if Man United lose FA Cup final

Pep Guardiola said on Friday that Erik ten Hag that he could be “in trouble” if Manchester United do not win the FA Cup final.

The Manchester City boss, who will line up against Ten Hag at Wembley on Saturday, sympathises with the Dutchman’s injuries problems this season. But Guardiola insists that managers of clubs like United, who have had a miserable season, are always vulnerable when the team is not successful.

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“In big clubs like United or City, when you don’t win, always you are in trouble,” Guardiola told a news conference.

“I would be in trouble if we didn’t win. He has done many good things, I have huge respect for his job in the past and now at United.”

Ten Hag’s future as United boss is in doubt, even if he wins the FA Cup on Saturday. Sources have told ESPN that the club are assessing other candidates including Thomas Tuchel, Mauricio Pochettino, Thomas Frank and Kieran McKenna after a season which has seen United finish eighth in the Premier League and miss out on a place in the Champions League.

Ten Hag has blamed a lot of his problems on injuries which have decimated his squad and Guardiola insists the most pressing issue for United is to work out why they have had so many issues.

“I completely agree when I listen to him [Ten Hag] when he says they have not had a full squad this season and had a lot of injuries,” Guardiola said.

“I think this is the most important thing they have to think about because I am always focused that we have to be fit, fit, fit. Otherwise we cannot use the players.

“They had a lot of problems and when that happens the manager suffers a lot. The squad is really good but the problem is when you cannot use them. This is a big disadvantage.”

City finished a mammoth 31 points ahead of United in the league and beat Ten Hag’s team at the Etihad Stadium and Old Trafford on their way to a record fourth successive title.

They also beat United 2-1 in last season’s FA Cup final but Guardiola has warned his players not to take their Manchester rivals lightly.

“We respect United a lot,” he said. “Always it has been like that. In the last decade we have been better but in terms of history they are the best team in England so you have to respect them massively.”