Erik ten Hag feels bringing back the fear factor for teams coming to Old Trafford is key to restoring Manchester United to their former glories.
Ten Hag’s men have rattled off 13 straight victories in home matches, helping United to third in the Premier League while also securing their place in the EFL Cup final and the fifth round of the FA Cup.
United will look to make it 14 consecutive victories at Old Trafford when they host rivals Leeds United on Wednesday, looking to capitalise on Arsenal and Manchester City both losing over the weekend.
Ten Hag was asked about the importance of getting teams to dread facing United in their own backyard, to which he replied: “It was one of our aims this season to get that back.
“It’s part of the process to restore Manchester United. It’s great to have the connection with Old Trafford.”
Despite United’s impressive home form, Ten Hag wants his team to play with the same confidence and freedom on the road, having won just five of their 11 league games away from Old Trafford this season.
“I think home form is good,” he added. “The next step is to have that same personality away as we do at home.
“When we play away we have a lot of fans following us and we can do the same away. Pitches are the same size and it is still 11 against 11.
“We can grow, we still have steps to make but happy with that as well.”
The Red Devils will fancy their chances of picking up another three points against Leeds, who sacked head coach Jesse Marsch on Tuesday with the team winless in seven league games and only outside the relegation zone on goal difference.
Ten Hag acknowledged how important the rivalry was for the two sets of supporters, while also expressing his sympathy for Marsch following the American’s dismissal.
“It’s the match of the roses,” Ten Hag said. “It’s definitely a big game in this part of England and a big game for us.
“We have City, we have Liverpool, but as well for our fans this game means so much. Our players are aware of that and will know what to do.
“It’s always sad if a manager gets sacked. In general, I don’t believe it that you sack a manager and get better results.
“Most of the time it doesn’t work. But the pressure is high with decision-makers at football and they turn, but if you see the facts, most of the time it doesn’t work out well.”
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Ten Hag will be without a number of key players for Wednesday, with Scott McTominay, Antony and Anthony Martial all absent with injury while Casemiro will serve the first game of his three-match suspension for grabbing the throat of Will Hughes in the 2-1 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday.
But Ten Hag is expecting victory and says he will not accept any excuses should they not achieve that, adding: “I always have to play with the players who are available and we have a squad.
“We have many good players in our squad who are not playing in the starting XI.
“After a game, I can’t say, ‘Casemiro is not there, Anthony Martial is not there’. We have to win. United are capable and we have to win the games no matter who is on the pitch.”