Erik ten Hag, the Manchester United manager, has expressed his unwavering support for goalkeeper Andre Onana following the player’s recent error in the Champions League clash against Bayern Munich.
Onana, a £47.2 million signing, faced a turbulent night on the field as he allowed Leroy Sane’s seemingly tame shot to slip past him in the 28th minute, handing Bayern Munich an early lead. This setback was followed by another Bayern goal just four minutes later. Though Manchester United mounted a spirited comeback in the second half, they eventually succumbed to a 4-3 defeat, marking their third consecutive loss and their fourth in the last five matches.
Immediately after the game, Onana stepped forward to shoulder the responsibility for his costly mistake. In an admirable display of accountability, he requested to speak with the rights holders and openly accepted his error. Manager Erik ten Hag has voiced his belief that Onana will bounce back from this challenging experience.
“I think he shows that he takes the responsibility and shows personality and the personality he needs to get in high levels,” commented Ten Hag. “But that’s not only about him but I think it’s about the team’s performance.”
Ten Hag emphasized the importance of the team’s unity and support for their goalkeeper, saying, “So we have to support him on the pitch, we have to help him. But it doesn’t only count for Andre; it counts for all the players on the pitch. They have to understand they are 11, they are in the same boat, and they have to be on the same page to get results.”
Errors are an inevitable part of football, and Ten Hag urged against blowing them out of proportion: “In football, there will always be mistakes, so don’t make it bigger than it is. As I said already, it was not only Andre with that goal; it was after that. In the second half, he made great saves for us, he showed his capabilities, and he will bounce back for us; he is an important player.”
Manchester United has been facing defensive challenges, conceding 14 goals in just six games. Onana has also faced criticism for letting in saveable shots in previous fixtures, notably against Nottingham Forest last month and in the recent loss to Brighton.
Speaking about the incident, the 27-year-old goalkeeper said, “It’s difficult. We started very well, and after my mistake, we lost control of the game. It’s a difficult situation for me, I let the team down. It’s because of me we didn’t win this game.”
Onana acknowledged that he has more to prove to the United fans, saying, “I still have a lot to prove (to the United fans). My start hasn’t been so good, not how I wanted. It’s difficult. It was an opportunity to bounce back, and yeah, it’s tough, a tough time, and we have to be together and learn from our mistake.”
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