Manchester United still have plenty to play for – Ten Hag

Erik ten Hag admitted Manchester United “should have done better” in the Champions League this season, but said their early exit from Europe doesn’t mean their campaign is effectively over.

United’s 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich, combined with FC Copenhagen‘s 1-0 win over Galatasaray, saw Ten Hag’s team exit European competition altogether after finishing bottom of Group A.

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The Dutchman said afterwards his team still have plenty to play for, despite their exit from the Carabao Cup and sitting sixth in the Premier League table.

“The facts are we do not have enough points,” said Ten Hag. “We are disappointed as a group. As a manager, I am disappointed. We should have done better. There are still many things to play for and now we can focus, of course, on the Premier League.

“This is the level we want to play, the Champions League, so we have to give every effort to be in the top four and next year be back in the Champions League. Then we have the FA Cup, so there are so many things to play for.”

It was an attempt at a positive spin from Ten Hag, but a 12th defeat of the season — seven of them coming at home — is another crushing blow in a campaign full of them.

To make matters worse, both Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw suffered muscle injuries against Bayern and could now miss the trip to Anfield to play Premier League leaders Liverpool on Sunday.

“We are losing players and players who are very decisive for our game, who can make the difference and in many games it was also the case in this campaign,” said Ten Hag. “We had not always the players available we want to play. That’s definitely a part.

“Now I give you a reason, but don’t see it as an excuse because even when we are not all on board, we still have to win because they are targets that belong to Manchester United.”