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Three games convinced Sir Jim Ratcliffe to keep Erik ten Hag as Manchester United manager

The reaction of the Manchester United supporters and players during their run-in were pivotal in convincing Ineos to retain Erik ten Hag as manager.

United’s co-owner, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, and his Ineos cohorts had planned to dismiss Ten Hag in May and sounded out a number of potential replacements, among them Kieran McKenna, Thomas Tuchel, Roberto de Zerbi and Mauricio Pochettino. Brentford boss Thomas Frank was also reportedly spoken to.

After an interminable end-of-season review, United leaked their decision to keep Ten Hag 17 days after he masterminded their uplifting FA Cup final victory over Manchester City.

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United’s preparations for the final were buoyed by successive Premier League victories over Newcastle United and Brighton, though momentum began in the wake of the season nadir away to Crystal Palace on May 6.

After the 4-0 drubbing at Selhurst Park, United players were greeted supportively by the away following and that is understood to have had a significant bearing on Ineos’s final decision. Six days later, United performed creditably but toothlessly in a 1-0 home defeat to Arsenal and the fight on display was appreciated by Ratcliffe, who was in attendance at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag recalled Sofyan Amrabat for his first Premier League start in four months against Arsenal and the Moroccan played his way into the cup final starting XI over Casemiro.

Seven of the starters against Arsenal on May 12 lined up against City at Wembley 13 days later and Ten Hag addressed United’s bluntness by dropping striker Rasmus Hojlund in favour of a