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‘Make sure you are there’ – Erik ten Hag issues rallying call ahead of Barcelona game

After a sensational win over Leicester City on Sunday, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag delivered an emphatic message to the fans. 

In a video that went viral, Ten Hag was seen gesturing vociferously towards the fans as he walked toward the tunnel at the end of the game.

When asked about what he was saying, the Dutchman said (via “Come Thursday, it is a big game. Make sure you are there, and we are sure we can beat Barcelona together.”

With a dominant performance against Leicester that saw the Red Devils walk away with a 3-0 win, the focus now turns to Barcelona, who they drew 2-2 with in the first leg of the tie.

The game comes at a critical point in United’s season when they are only three points behind Manchester City in the Premier League.

A win against Barca will see them progress to the last 16 of the Europa League, with the Carabao Cup final against Newcastle United still to come next weekend.

What brings Ten Hag to show appreciation for the fans is the realisation that a packed Old Trafford has always been the secret to United winning so many trophies over the years.

According to Statista, the average home attendance at Old Trafford was an astonishing 72,992 last season Second-placed Arsenal were far behind, with an average of 59,776.

Ten Hag is already upping the mind games ahead of the mega clash

Since their loss against Brighton & Hove Albion on the opening day of the season, Man United are yet to lose a match at home in the league.

The Red Devils have played 12 games at home this term, winning nine, drawing two and losing one. 

If the performance against Leicester is anything to go by, Ten Hag has turned around the perception that United are weak on their home ground.

Since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure, the Red Devils saw their impeccable home fortress shattered on numerous occasions by not only their arch-rivals but also the traditionally weaker teams.

During previous manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s last full season ranging from 2020-21, the side had a better record on the road than at home.

United became only the fourth top-flight in English history to go unbeaten away from home for an entire season. While they racked up win after win away, they only won nine games and lost points in 13 games at home. 

Upon this arrival, Tenn Hag realised that using the crowd at Old Trafford would turn the tide in United’s favour.

The former Ajax manager’s rallying call could help the team this week. He ensured that he riled up the fans and made the task as difficult for Barcelona as possible.

It sends a message to all rival clubs, not just Xavi Hernandez and his men, that the Theatre of Dreams has come to life. 

Old Trafford is where dreams come true, where stories are written, and where an entire nation turns to when Manchester’s greatest sons take the field.

Ten Hag is relentlessly trying to regain the lost glory of a much-celebrated fortress.

Stats Credit: FBREF and FootyStats