Manchester United release statement after journalists ‘banned’ from press conference

Manchester United explained why four journalists were banned from an Erik ten Hag press conference on Tuesday.

According to TalkSports, Sky Sports chief reporter Kaveh Solhekhol, the Manchester Evening News’ Samuel Luckhurst, The Mirror’s David McDonnell and Rob Dawson of ESPN were all reported to have been block from attending the news conference.

A statement from Man United read: “We are taking action against a number of news organisations today.

“Not for publishing stories we don’t like, but for doing so without contacting us first and give us the opportunity to comment, challenge or contextualise.”

It is unclear if the ban is just for Manchester United’s press conference on Tuesday, or if it will be extended into the future.

The stories the club are referring to were reports that were published by a number of outlets that claimed Ten Hag had lost ‘more than 50 per cent’ of the Old Trafford dressing room.

The claims ranged from player complaints over Ten Hag’s style of play, to being trained too hard, and even questioning his man-management.

Addressing the claims of disunity at the club, the Dutchman was asked about the rumours in that press conference.

“I always listen to my players and I always give them opportunities to tell, if the players have a different opinion of course I will listen,” he said.

“But they haven’t told me – or maybe one or two. But it is about in general: the majority, they want to play like this – proactive, dynamic, brave, that is what they want. You can see the players are behind it because of the performances against Everton [3-0] and Galatasaray [3-3].

“Do you think we can make the goals we did against Everton if the players don’t embrace it? I am sure [the players are behind me]. You can see for instance the comeback against Brentford [2-1], the Burnley game [1-0], the Fulham game [1-0]. You can see you can’t play such great football as we did lately if there is no unity.”

When it was put to Ten Hag that the banning of journalists offered a sense of disorder at United, he responded: “Not in the dressing room.

“Of course there are a lot of rumours about strategic review [carried out internally], but it is not that we get distracted by it.

“We are on a journey, a route, we know we are still in transition but we are in the right direction, you see it how we construct a team, develop it, the team is progressing, how young players [are] coming in and you see the potential how they can contribute to a very successful Manchester United for the future.”

The Red Devils currently sit seventh in the Premier League following a 1-0 defeat to Newcastle on Saturday.

They have scored just 16 league goals all season and have already lost six times.

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