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Erik ten Hag acknowledges the challenges facing Manchester United in their quest to secure Champions League qualification this season and describes himself as a “pragmatic” individual.

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With a growing injury list and crucial fixtures on the horizon, Ten Hag recognizes the need for United to make up ground if they are to remain competitive for the rest of the campaign.

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Ahead of their Premier League clash against Chelsea, where key players such as Lisandro Martinez, Victor Lindelof, and Luke Shaw are sidelined, Ten Hag understands that securing a victory would only marginally reduce the gap between United and the top four.

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Assessing the current competitiveness of the league and United’s prospects for Champions League qualification next season, Ten Hag commented, “I hold high standards, and failing to qualify would disappoint me. However, given our current position, I’m aware of the significant challenge we face.”

“But maintaining our standards and striving for victory in every match is the ethos within our club. We’ll persist in our efforts and remain faithful to these standards. Yet, we acknowledge the need to make up lost ground. I’m a realist.”

“In such a fiercely competitive environment, where teams are closely matched, the availability of players is crucial in establishing consistency and implementing our style of play. When you’re forced to make compromises, performance levels can suffer, resulting in dropped points. Conversely, fielding a consistent lineup elevates performance levels and contributes to better results. It’s a simple reality that having the best players available enhances our chances of success.”

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