'They see the problems' - Erik ten Hag's message to Man United support after Crystal Palace defeat

Erik ten Hag believes Manchester United supporters see the problems he is having to battle this season after thanking them for their outstanding support at Selhurst Park.

The away end were in superb voice in the second half despite seeing United slump to a dismal 4-0 defeat at Crystal Palace that leaves them on the brink of enduring their worst league season in the Premier League era. Ten Hag's team were 4-0 down after 68 minutes and now lie eighth in the league, with a goal difference of -3, with just three games to play.

United's players went over to the away end to thank them for their support after the final whistle and Ten Hag lamented the fact that the fighting spirit shown in the stands wasn't evident on the pitch. The Dutchman again pointed to a nightmare injury situation as mitigation and said Jonny Evans wasn't fit enough to start but was forced into action after Harry Maguire picked up an injury in training.

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Ten Hag is now under mounting pressure at Old Trafford but feels the show of support from the stands is evidence that the fans understand the hand he has been dealt this season.

"We have seen the fans, they are backing us from minute one to the end, they were behind the team, so I guess they see the problems we have," he said.

"I'm really happy, pleased with their support and the team is really pleased with it and we should have taken their fighting spirit onto the pitch."

Ten Hag also insists the belief remains intact and pointed to an upturn in results in 2024, adding: "We only had four defeats so far and we had all season big problems, especially the last weeks, we had big problems in the backline but all the time there was always a team with fighting spirit, a team that was hard to beat but today we were easy to beat."

The United manager was critical of the abject performance in south London that condemned United to a 13th defeat in 35 Premier League games. That is the most defeats in a single season United have suffered in the Premier League era and the most since they lost 16 in 1989/90.

It was a display characterised by mediocrity all over the pitch, with Casemiro enduring a dismal night at centre-back and Antony hauled off after an hour despite United being 3-0 down at that point, but Ten Hag insists the players remain committed.

"Yes. I'm sure," he said. "They had the right intention to come on and they were eager from the start but once we were playing, we didn't perform. Individuals didn't perform and as a team we didn't perform."

Maguire's training ground injury that will rule him out of the rest of the league campaign forced Evans straight back into the season and while Ten Hag said his lack of fitness didn't compromise his plans, he praised the 36-year-old for getting through the game.

"Huge respect for Jonny that he stepped in but he wasn't ready to go into this game, he had two days training. That is one example," he said.

"But he played for 90 minutes and what is a reward that he did this. But, of coure, he can't play to the levels what he can normally do."