Man Utd boss Ten Hag ‘could have been sacked next week’ before McTominay heroics

Ten Hag says 'Man Utd in heart' of matchwinner McTominay

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag has been told he could have been sacked during the international break if they had lost to Brentford on Saturday. Ten Hag has overseen their worst start to a season in 37 years and several issues off the field – as well as performances and results on it – have put his position under scrutiny. But a late turnaround at Old Trafford saved the Dutchman’s blushes and potentially kept him in his job.

United were heading for a fifth defeat in eight games this season after Mathias Jensen saw his effort squeeze underneath Andre Onana’s hand to give Thomas Frank’s men a shock lead. The hosts had a goal disallowed in the 89th minute after Anthony Martial interfered in the play when in an offside position before Kristoffer Ajer diverted the ball into his own net.

But substitute Scott McTominay proved to be the saviour with a quick double in stoppage time to snatch all three points for United and lift the pressure off Ten Hag’s shoulders.

United had been heading for a third consecutive home defeat after losing 3-2 to Galatasaray in the Champions League, following a 1-0 home loss to Crystal Palace. And Schmeichel, 59, suggested former Ajax coach Ten Hag would have been fighting to save himself from the sack had they lost.

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“The mood will change at the club, for sure, because you end this spell before the international break with a win,” he told Premier League Productions.

“Had that been another defeat, some rash decisions might have been made. You never know, it’s football. I’ve seen managers lose their job on that kind of run. I think now it’s a little bit more calm, with the international break some injured players might come back and it might be the excuse to move on.”

Ten Hag guided the club to their first piece of silverware in six years after winning the Carabao Cup last season with a 2-0 win over Newcastle at Wembley. They also finished third in the Premier League behind champions Manchester City and Arsenal, securing Champions League football, in a season where usual top-four challengers Tottenham and Chelsea failed to qualify for Europe altogether.

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Despite spending £200million on the likes of Rasmus Hojlund and Mason Mount this summer, United are yet to kick on and they have already lost heavily to Arsenal and Brighton this season.

In addition, the 53-year-old boss is still yet to find an amicable solution to his public fallout with Jadon Sancho over the winger’s apparent failure meet his standards in training.

To add to the misery, an injury crisis has unfolded in defence with Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane joining Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia and Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the physio room.

Harry Maguire and Jonny Evans were selected to start at centre-back for the clash with Brentford, and Ten Hag may welcome the chance of a two-week break in the season to allow the six injured players time to recover.

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