Keane admits United face long road to close gap on City and Liverpool

‘It’s ugly’: Roy Keane admits ‘it’s a long way back’ for Man United to close the points gap on rivals City and Liverpool and insists Red Devils must get recruitment right this summer to help new boss Erik ten Hag

  • Man United icon Roy Keane says the club faces a long path to being contenders
  • Erik ten Hag will take over as United boss in July and Keane feels his task is tough
  • Keane was a serial Premier League champion and senses United lack character
  • United took on Brentford in their final home match of the campaign on Monday 

Erik ten Hag faces a massive task to close the points gap separating Manchester United from Premier League title contenders Manchester City and Liverpool, Roy Keane has warned.

United legend Keane says Ten Hag will take over a group of players lacking leadership and resilience – and the former captain expects more misery at Old Trafford if the club fail to improve their approach to transfers.

Keane told Sky Sports: ‘Whatever their problems, they have to look at where Man City are, where Liverpool are.

Manchester United fans hope they will have more to shout about after Erik Ten Hag takes over

The players Ten Hag will inherit have fallen well short of Pep Guardiola’s outstanding Man City

‘Man City, Liverpool and these other teams aren’t going to take it easy over the summer. They’re going to reinvest, get players in and get stronger.

‘Klopp might stay on, Pep might stay on. It comes down to recruitment: getting the right players in and getting players out of the door, because the last few years just haven’t been good enough.

‘How many times can you say it? The biggest frustration for me, when they’ve had these disappointments, is the reaction they’ve shown. There’s been a real lack of leadership, not enough characters in that dressing room.’

Ten Hag will join United from Ajax in July, taking over from interim boss Ralf Rangnick.

United legend Roy Keane voiced his concerns ahead of his former club’s game with Brentford

Thirteen-time champions United will finish on their lowest ever Premier League points tally unless they win all three of their remaining league games, beginning with the visit of Brentford in their final home match of the season on Monday. 

The Red Devils are also certain to finish the season without a trophy, extending their wait for their first top-flight title since 2013. 

Discussing the points total, Keane said: ‘It’s ugly, that. Whatever way you look at it, it’s not good.

‘We know it’s a long way back for United, but of course there is a way back. Maybe the new manager is coming in at a good time because I always think it can’t get any worse. It’s the points total that worries me, to be so far behind.

‘Even last year, you’re thinking Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] did well. Such a big gap is a big problem for Man United.’

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