Ten Hag calls for unity among United fans ahead of Liverpool clash
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag urged fans to stay unified ahead of Monday's (August 22) Premier League clash with Liverpool as some supporters plan to protest against the club's American owners, the Glazer family, before the game.
United have come under fire from fans after losing both their opening games to sit at the bottom of the league table and also failing to secure transfer targets in the close season.
"I can only say the owners want to win and the fans, we want them behind the club," Ten Hag told reporters on Friday (August 19).
"And I can understand sometimes but I am not that long in the club to see all the backgrounds. We have to fight together and be unified."
United, who won the last of their record 20 English league titles back in 2013, will be looking for their first top-flight points under Ten Hag when they host Liverpool on Monday.
They have been handed an early boost with forward Anthony Martial back in training after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury, though it remains to be seen if he will be involved in the match.
Ten Hag was asked about Cristiano Ronaldo's future at the club and the Dutch manager reiterated that the Portugal forward remains in his plans, amid intense speculation over the 37-year-old's future.
"I don't know why he's a particular focus after Saturday, it was the team performance and the whole team's attitude, including Ronaldo," Ten Hag said. "He's in our plans, that's what I can say."
Ten Hag said the team would stick to their game plan against Liverpool, who are 12th after getting a draw in both their games so far.
"I know the rivals, we are the rivals. We have to win every game, especially this game," he added.
"It's not different to motivate this team because my experience with them is they work really good on the training pitch,” he said.
"Of course, I would prefer to play them after they win 5-0 but it isn't dreamland, that's how it is. We drew twice too, so is it better to play us? I don't know," Juergen Klopp told reporters on Friday.
"We have to deal with all the situations. The whole world will watch it, let's see how these heavyweights deal with the situation."
Klopp's side have pumped in 13 goals in their last three league meetings with United but the German said they cannot dwell on those results heading into the contest.
"The last two results, I knew already wouldn't help this time. I couldn't be less interested in the results from last season... It helps United to be more motivated if that's possible," Klopp said.
"This is a completely different game in a completely different situation.
"United can change nothing or everything, so it's tricky preparation-wise, but it's early and we don't have a lot of info. It's tough... United away will never be easy."
Klopp said defender Joe Gomez will start after coming off the bench in their 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace while forward Roberto Firmino is also available after shaking off a minor muscle issue.