SOCCER

Manchester United must stick together, locker room leaks must stop

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BANGKOK, Thailand — Fred has told ESPN that Manchester United dressing room leaks will have to stop, but the Brazilian midfielder insists the stories of a divided squad last season were overblown.

Suggestions of unrest among Old Trafford players overshadowed an already miserable campaign as United plummeted to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League.

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And as the team begins its new era under Erik ten Hag, Fred has urged his teammates to increase their chances of success by sticking together and ‘minimizing’ the rumors that are spreading.

“Manchester United is a huge club, one of the biggest in the world, so there will always be rumors about the dressing room and many other things and we have to minimize that,” Fred said in an interview with ESPN in Bangkok.

“Unfortunately a lot of fake news is coming out in the media to try and damage our dressing room. We weren’t doing well in the league.

“We have to protect ourselves from this, stay strong and above all support your teammates on a daily basis.

“Last season we weren’t good enough at everything we did.

“It’s behind us now. Now we have to think about the future, next season. We have to forget last season, identify the mistakes and not repeat them.”

Ten Hag is set to take charge of his first game on Tuesday when United take on Liverpool at the Rajamangala National Stadium in Bangkok.

The Dutchman is stepping up his preparations for the new season on the summer tour of Thailand and Australia after spending two weeks with his players at Carrington and Fred says the new boss has already made a good impression.

“He’s a great manager, everyone knows what he’s achieved,” he said.

“I’m sure big things are coming. He’s very detailed in his work. I really like his work, I followed him at Ajax.

“He’s always on the pitch asking us, constantly communicating with the players. It’s really important for me and for the group.

“There are new rules. There are things he asks you to do, it’s part of his job and our daily routine. We have to adopt them and work hard to improve.”

Fred could face fresh competition for his place next season after Ten Hag used his first press conference of the summer to insist United’s midfield will need to be strengthened before the transfer deadline .

Along with Cristiano Ronaldo and David De Gea, Fred was one of the few players to escape last season with some credit – particularly after a number of positive performances under Ralf Rangnick – and the 29-year-old believes that he can have an important role. role under Ten Hag.

“I don’t think last season was the first time people realized I was a good player,” he added.

“I didn’t come to Manchester United by chance, my first season wasn’t great although the others were good. We didn’t do very well last season but luckily I managed to do a good job here.

“I hope to improve even more this season, improving every day by working hard. A lot of people will criticize you, try to put you down.

“As I said before, I’m very relaxed. I don’t let myself be bothered and I continue to work hard on the pitch.

“I want to achieve my goals, to play well here and for my national team. I want to keep doing my job no matter what they say.”

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