Scott McTominay Man United Midfielder Expresses Strong Support for Erik ten Hag

The situation at Manchester United has been “toxic” under previous management, but the players are “fully behind” Erik ten Hag, says midfielder Scott McTominay.

Their 3-0 defeat to Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday marked their 11th loss in 23 games across all competitions this season.

They must defeat Bayern Munich at Old Trafford on Tuesday to have a chance of progressing to the Champions League Round of 16.

“It’s the players’ responsibility, first and foremost,” said McTominay.

“We have many great players, and right now, we are at a stage where we have big characters in the dressing room.

“It’s not like [with] some of the previous managers where the atmosphere has been somewhat toxic at times – the players are fully behind the manager.

“We have an amazing coaching staff. We just want to do the best for the football club, and it’s as simple as that.”

Midfielder McTominay, 27, made his Manchester United debut in 2017 under Jose Mourinho.

Last week, Ten Hag, in his second season at Old Trafford, dismissed suggestions that the dressing room is divided, stating that he and his squad are “together.”

Previous managers, including David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Mourinho, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, as well as interim boss Ralf Rangnick, have all been haunted, to varying extents, by rumors of player dissatisfaction.

In an interview in September, Solskjaer criticized the behavior of some players during his tenure.

United currently sits sixth in the Premier League and at the bottom of their Champions League group, needing a victory against Bayern and relying on other results to qualify for the Round of 16.

“We are inconsistent as a team, we are not blind to that,” added McTominay.

“We have discussed it with the coaching staff. Our schedule has been relentless, but we can’t use that as an excuse. As a group, we need to come together and find the answers to that.

“In the Premier League, every team is super athletic, and every team in the Champions League can run. We need to match that and more when you play for this club.

“The manager can’t do too much from the sidelines; it needs to come from the players.”

What Man Utd Need to Qualify for the Last 16 of the Champions League
Meanwhile, Ten Hag pointed to injury issues as one of the reasons behind his team’s inconsistencies compared to last season’s positive third-placed finish.

“We had a regular team [last season], not so many changes, especially in our backline – we had a regular formation, and that helps you,” said the Dutch coach.

“When we get back to a regular base, we will play better, and there is a better chance of being consistent.

“I know this team can perform at really high levels. It’s not like we did it three months ago – no, we did it last week. It starts with the right attitude.”

Analysis
BBC Sport’s Simon Stone

It was the final answer of the news conference when Scott McTominay used the word “toxic.” In defending the current United manager, he admitted the dressing room had turned against previous ones.

The assumption must be if it has happened before, it can happen again.

Manchester United has an enormous week ahead of them. Bayern Munich, followed by Liverpool on Sunday. The difference in mood between two victories and two defeats is vast.z z z z z z z z z z z z z

Sadly for Ten Hag, his solution for the maddening inconsistency that has blighted United this season, the return of personnel, will not be solved in days. Lisandro Martinez, in particular, is not expected to be back before Christmas.

For all the positive elements of their performance against Galatasaray, they did not win, and the triumph against Chelsea last week has been put into perspective by the Blues’ dismal display at Goodison Park on Sunday.

No-one can really know which United will turn up at Old Trafford on Tuesday. But, after their 5-1 defeat by Frankfurt at the weekend, everyone can be pretty sure that Bayern – their status as group winners already assured – will be hugely motivated.