Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag defends away form in Europe before the must-win Champions League game against Galatasaray
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag defended the away form in the Champions League as they play Galatasaray on Wednesday. United need to win the away game at the RAMS Park stadium to avoid early elimination from the competition.
The Red Devils have lost away at Bayern Munich and FC Copenhagen in the Group A fixtures. United plays their final away game in the group stage against Galatasaray, a team that defeated them at Old Trafford.
The RAMS Park stadium has a notorious reputation for having a very hostile atmosphere towards the visiting teams. Galatasaray have a significant psychological advantage and Ten Hag needs his players to be resilient to the atmosphere.
Ten Hag told the reporters at the pre-match conference (h/t Manchester United’s official site) that United could win the game. He said:
“You [the journalists] can always find [something]. Last year, we couldn’t win away from home, that was ‘an issue’. Now we can’t win at home. Now we’re winning away games and you’re bringing up we don’t win away games in Europe. We know we can do [it]. We are confident because the last games in the league away from home were also very hostile environments and we played very well.”
United have lost three out of the four Champions League Group A games, currently fourth in the table. Galatasaray defeated the Red Devils 3-2 in their earlier encounter at Old Trafford this season.
30 years ago in November of 1993, United played the Turkish club in one of the most hostile environments. The RAMS Park Stadium greeted Sir Alex Ferguson’s team with hostility and harassment as the match ended in United’s elimination.
The then-United team failed to handle the untamable crowd and their nerve-wracking noise. The infamous “Welcome to Hell” banner became synonymous with the Galatasaray fanbase.
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Many fans and pundits have criticized the inability of United to react positively when they face an adverse situation. The Manchester giants have lost nine out of their 19 matches in all competitions this season. United led 2-0 in the first half hours away at Copenhagen in their last Champions League game. However, the team fell apart after a red card to Marcus Rashford as they lost the game 4-3.
It is imperative for Ten Hag’s men to keep their composure and emotions in check during the game. A club of United’s stature cannot afford an early elimination from the Champions League before even reaching the knockout stages.