Erik ten Hag feels it’s a ‘big step’ to consider Manchester United as Premier League title contenders after their win over Bournemouth but agrees that the belief of winning the title is growing.
Man United slashed the eleven points behind Arsenal to nine points when they beat Bournemouth 3-0 at Old Trafford and 3rd place Newcastle United held the Gunners to a frustrating goalless draw at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Red Devils have won their last seven home matches in all competitions and won their last four league matches to go seven points ahead of Liverpool and one point behind 2nd place Manchester City, who have a game in hand though.
And they can close in on the Gunners as Mikel Arteta’s next two league games are against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, while United will face Manchester City at home and Arsenal away from home.
Many have started viewing Manchester United as one of the contenders for this year’s Premier League title but Ten Hag believes it’s a stretch to think so about United at the moment.
The Dutchman said: “That is a big step [to consider Manchester United as title challengers], we have to go from game to game and get the progress. The belief is growing. That is a good signal, and it is good to have that feeling.
“We have to understand that we have to give every game 100 percent energy, 100 percent focus and 100 percent play as a team, and if you keep that philosophy, it is possible [to win the league], but you have to go from game to game.
“Don’t get too far ahead it is January not even half a season. The next game is Everton, we have to focus on that, it is coming quick, enjoy 24 hours and then move on.”
Manchester United will host struggling Everton at Old Trafford on Friday in what would be their first FA Cup game this season and the Red Devils will look to extend their home winning run to eight matches.
Three days later, United host Charlton Athletic in the Carabao Cup quarter-final and that game, according to many, shouldn’t pose as concerns, given Manchester United’s current form.