Ten Hag says Man Utd need ‘to be proactive’ against managerless Leeds

Erik ten Hag says Manchester United need ‘to be proactive’ as his side face managerless Leeds on Wednesday evening.

United look to continue their push for Champions League football against their fierce rivals tomorrow evening, who arrive in Manchester on a run of seven games without a Premier League win.


It is the first of a double-header against Leeds with the two teams facing off again at Elland Road on Sunday and Ten Hag is looking forward to his first taste of the cross-Pennine rivalry.

“It’s about the match of the roses. It’s definitely a big, big game,” Ten Hag told his pre-match press conference.

“It’s part of England. It’s big for us. We have Man City, Liverpool, but for our fans, this game means so much and our players are aware of that and will know what to do.”

Leeds will arrive with Michael Skubala, Paco Gallardo and former United coach Chris Armas in temporary charge of first-team affairs, following the decision to sack Jesse Marsch on Monday. Marsch was dismissed after Sunday’s defeat at Nottingham Forest left Leeds outside the Premier League’s relegation places on goal difference.

“It’s always sad if a manager is a colleague, gets sacked, so in general I don’t believe in it, that you sack a manager and get better results, most of the time it doesn’t work,” Ten Hag said.

“Let the manager finish their work and make a good evaluation. But the pressure is high with decision-makers at football and they turn. But if you see the facts and the stats, most of the time it doesn’t work out well.”‘

Ten Hag was asked if March’s sacking would impact United’s approach to the game and says the departure of the American makes Leeds more unpredictable.

“Definitely, you don’t know [how they will play],” he said. “We have to be aware of that so when Jesse Marsch was at Leeds it was clear how they played, so the way of play, our system, their style. Now it’s possible they change but it’s also possible they don’t change. We will only find out on the pitch tomorrow but we need good anticipation on that so we know what to do.

“Anticipation like we had against Villa when Emery came in, we had a week to prepare but not as much this time. We will see but we need to be proactive.”

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