Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has ruled out the club’s chances of being title contenders
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, while speaking ahead of the second leg UEFA Europa League clash against Real Betis (h/t Manchester Evening News) has ruled out United’s chances of a title race.
United’s upturn in form this season has been nothing short of remarkable, considering the fatal defeats suffered at the hands of Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford at the beginning of the season.
From there, the team had an exceptional run and enter the top four in the Premier League with the team currently sitting in third.
In the midst of it all and before the Liverpool debacle, there were talks of United being in the title race, joining Arsenal and Manchester City as at that time the gap between us and second-placed Manchester City was just three points.
However, the result against Liverpool following the draw against Southampton has increased the gap to an extent where any talk of a title race are certainly over.
This is what Ten Hag think at least, with the manager admitting that although huge progress has been made by the team, there is still a gap between United and the top two.
“I think we have made good progress, but we also have to acknowledge that there is still a gap. I couldn’t expect us to close that gap quickly. We are trying to win every game and we have beaten all of the top teams. We are capable of doing it. We have to take the next step to do it more consistently. With time, we can do it.”
At the beginning of the season, we would have been delighted if given the option of ending the season with a top-four and a trophy.
Come to March and there is already one trophy in the bag while the team is still in contention for two more in Europa League and FA Cup. On top of that, it does feel like we are comfortably sitting in the top four and would make Champions League qualification.
Hence, it was a matter of getting our hopes up and dreaming about things, which at present, are beyond our reach. It does not mean that the team is far behind the title challengers, it is just a matter of time before we see us competing for the top honours.
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The summer transfer window, under new ownership hopefully, could bring about a huge change to the upcoming season and a solid addition of 3-4 top-quality players would elevate us straight to being one of the best teams in the country.