LONDON: Erik ten Hag has one last trophy chance in the FA Cup in a potentially decisive season for his employment as manager at Manchester United.

Ten Hag says he has had a series of positive discussions with new investor and football overseer Sir Jim Ratcliffe since the owner of Ineos Chemicals agreed a 25pc purchase of United from the Glazer family. However Ten Hag needs a trophy to support his confidence in his future at Old Trafford.

United’s task at third-tier strugglers Wigan is a difficult one. Wigan, FA Cup winners in 2013, will relish the challenge. Manager Shaun Maloney has happy memories of scoring a winning goal against United in 2012. Wigan’s only victory over United in 19 attempts allowed Manchester City to snatch the Premier League title that afternoon.

United, FA Cup runners-up to City last season, slithered out of European competition before Christmas. They are also out of the League Cup and are eighth in the Premier League.

Ten Hag said: “We had a very tough programme in 2023. I think it was one of the toughest schedules out of all the clubs across Europe. We played so many games and now we have to be refreshed because the cup is always about do or die. We know our opponents will be always 100pc ready, especially playing in a cup against Manchester United.”

Andre Onana will keep goal against Wigan and United are hoping to delay his departure for the Africa Cup of Nations until after next Sunday’s Premier League home game against Tottenham.

Ten Hag has played down expectations about United undertaken any significant business during the January transfer window. Apart from outgoing loanees Jadon Sancho and Donny van de Beek, United have returned Spanish leftback Sergio Reguilon to Tottenham.

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