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Before Man Utd’s dramatic victory at Fulham, a pointed banner was displayed. Erik ten Hag responds.

In response to a “Play Like You Mean It” banner that the team’s supporters had displayed, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag stated that his players needed to set “the highest standards.”

Bruno Fernandes’ late goal gave United a 1-0 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage. Ten Hag, who is worried about his future after suffering humiliating 3-0 home losses to Manchester City and Newcastle, has felt some relief at the outcome.

A “play like you mean it” banner was held up by Red Devils supporters prior to Saturday’s match, expressing their displeasure at United’s unimpressive performance. Even though United prevailed through a late goal, there is a lot of pressure ahead of a pivotal Champions League away match in Copenhagen.

“The players gave it their best shot, but there’s always room for improvement,” Ten Hag told reporters on Wednesday. “As a player, employee, or manager at Manchester United, we hold you to the highest standards. Fans of ours have high expectations. They count on you to win each and every match. Furthermore, you still need to win even when you’re not playing well.

“We saw the banner before the game, and a few of us said to the rest of the lads that these fans pay good money to come down and see us play,” midfielder Scott McTominay said of the banner following the game.

“They help us out every week, and all we want to do is give them back as much as we can. Even though things aren’t going great right now, we’ll utilize this victory as a springboard to improve under the direction of the manager and his highly capable coaching team. We are capable of continuing and improving.”

“When everyone is against you, you have to come together and fight like dogs, and that’s what we did today,” he continued. “It shouldn’t just be this game.” We can use it as a building stone, and I believe we did enough to win the game in the end.”

Rio Ferdinand, a legend of United, also noticed the aforementioned banner.

“It’s piercing when your own fans question your own character as a player and your own professionalism,” he said to TNT Sports.

“I’m happy that it was seen and that a response was sent. I also want to commend McTominay for being upfront in admitting that they would all work like dogs because they are behind the staff and management.

“Look, it wasn’t a fantastic performance, there wasn’t any flashy finishing or well-put-together passing manoeuvres, but they ground out a result and that’s what they needed – it’s not always pretty but you have to say well done to them for coming to a tough place like Craven Cottage and getting the job done.”

Alejandro Garnacho, a forward for United, encouraged supporters to “keep believing” in the squad in an Instagram post following the game, referencing the “Play like you mean it” banner. He wrote, “Play like you mean it!” and included an emoji of a handshake. “Never give up on us… [Bruno Fernandes was the key figure].

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