·21 September 2023
·21 September 2023
Erik ten Hag says that Manchester United need to "support" Andre Onana after his blunder in the 4-3 defeat to Bayern Munich.
In the 28th minute of his Champions League debut for United, Onana allowed Leroy Sane's tame long-range effort, after neat interplay with Harry Kane, to slip through his fingers and into the back of the net. Bayern went on to bag another three in an enthralling game at the Allianz Arena – the 4-3 win not reflecting the dominance of the home side's performance.
United's forked out £43.8m to sign Onana from Inter in their summer, but have yet to really see the best of the Cameroon international. In his six games as the club's number one, Onana has already conceded 14 goals.
Speaking after the game to TNT Sports, Ten Hag was asked about the mistake made by Onana, and the Dutchman was keen to emphasise the need for United to rally around the 27-year-old.
"I think he shows that he takes the responsibility and shows personality and the personality he needs to get in high levels. But that's not only about him but I think it's about the team's performance," Ten Hag said.
"So we have to support him on the pitch, we have to help him. but it doesn't only count for Andre, it counts for all the players on the pitch. They have to understand they are 11, they are in the same boat and they have to be on the same page to get results.
"In football, there will always be mistakes, so don't make it bigger than it is. As I said already, it was not only Andre with that goal, it was after that. In the second half, he made great saves for us, he showed his capabilities and he will bounce back for us, he is an important player."
Onana himself spoke to the media after the game, surprisingly requesting an interview so he could take accountability for his performance and admit that he has a "lot to prove".
"It's a difficult situation for us, and me, as I let the team down," Onana said. The team was really good but it was because of me we didn't win this game. I'm happy for the work of the team but we have to move on - that is the life of a goalkeeper. We didn't win today because of me.
"Their first shot on target, I made a mistake, so the team went down because of that mistake. I have to learn, be strong and move on although it's not an easy situation. I'm happy with the comeback of the team, we were fighting until the end.
"I have a lot to prove. My start in Manchester has not been good or how I want. The way I played today was one of my worst games."
Onana will be hoping to keep his first clean sheet since August 14 when United travel to Turf Moor to face newly-promoted Burnley on Saturday evening.