Erik ten Hag has dismissed suggestions that supporter protests against the Glazers will disrupt Manchester United’s performances on the pitch. Around 1,000 United supporters marched from Manchester city centre to Old Trafford in the build up to Sunday’s Premier League game against Aston Villa. Some fans also stood outside Old Trafford for the first 18 minutes of the match against Villa, a minute for each year of the Glazer ownership. Protests against the Glazers continued inside Old Trafford, while Bruno Fernandes’ first-half goal sealed a 1-0 win over Villa to tighten United’s grip on a top-four finish. When asked after the victory if he felt the protest from the supporters could have a negative impact on United’s remaining fixtures, Ten Hag replied: ‘We really felt that the fans were behind us. So we have to focus to be successful because that is what the fans expect and they can expect, and they have to rely on us so we will focus on that. I’m sure when we give performances like we do all season the fans are behind us. There’s a lot of energy, there’s a really strong bond between the fans and the players.’
United fans have once again voiced their desire for the Glazers to completely sell their stake in the club as takeover talks continue. Sheikh Jassim is currently one of the frontrunners in the United takeover, although reports on Saturday evening claimed that Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s bid, which is in excess of £5 billion, is viewed by the Glazers as a more attractive proposal. Despite the protests, Ten Hag has made it clear that he and his team are focused on delivering successful performances on the pitch and will continue to rely on the support of the fans.