With Manchester United’s slender survival hopes in the Champions League hinging on beating Bayern Munich on Tuesday, humiliation a few days earlier by Bournemouth hardly inspired confidence.

Yet despite Erik ten Hag’s team lurching from one bad result to another with 11 defeats in 23 games in all competitions this season, midfielder Scott McTominay says the players are fully behind the embattled Dutchman.

McTominay also conceded that has not always been the case with some of Ten Hag’s predecessors where the situation sometimes became toxic.

“It is the players’ responsibility first and foremost, the players know that as well,” he told reporters on Monday.

“It is not just the case like (with) some of the other managers where it has been a little bit toxic at times.

“The boys are firmly behind the manager and that is the be all and end all. We have got (an) amazing coaching staff as well.”

Unsubstantiated media reports of dressing room splits ended with four organisations being banned for Ten Hag’s news conference ahead of last week’s Premier League game against Chelsea and the 3-0 loss at home to Bournemouth hardly helped calm the turbulent Old Trafford waters.

“People can get lost in translation and get carried away with what the players think and what they say behind closed doors — we just want to do well for the football club and it is as simple as that,” McTominay said.

United must beat runaway Group A leaders Bayern and hope the other match between Galatasaray and Copenhagen ends in a draw if they are to reach the last 16 of the Champions League.

It is a big if, although such is the wildly unpredictable nature of United’s squad, victory over Bayern is not out of the question. It will just depend on which United turns up, the one that outplayed Chelsea last week or the one that produced a shambolic performance against Bournemouth.

“I never think in negative scenarios. We think positively. We have to win to stay in Europe; it is all about that,” Ten Hag told reporters. “We have shown in the last weeks that when we are at our best, we can do it.”

United opened their Group A campaign with a 4-3 loss at Bayern, followed by a 3-2 defeat at home by Galatasaray in which they twice led. They were also 2-0 ahead away to Galatasaray in their penultimate group game, but ended up drawing 3-3.

“We are inconsistent as a team, we have not been naive to that. We have spoken with coaching staff about it,” McTominay said. “As a group we have to come together and find out the answers to that. It is finding that consistency and balance.”

United face a crucial week with the clash at home to Bayern followed by a trip to Premier League leaders Liverpool. Ten Hag, for now at least, appears to have the support of United’s fans.

“I hope the fans are together with us,” he said. “Since I’ve been here, I’ve always sensed a strong bond between the team and the fans. Even when we’ve had big setbacks.

“But we have to take responsibility and energise them.”

Bayern expect a top performance against Manchester United, says Tuchel

Bayern Munich will give 100% against Manchester United in their final Champions League Group A game on Tuesday, coach Thomas Tuchel said, despite having already secured top spot.

Bottom side United, on four points, can still make the last 16 if they beat visiting Bayern and Galatasaray draw at second-placed FC Copenhagen, with both of those teams on five points.

The Bavarians will look to perk up their confidence at Old Trafford after seeing their unbeaten Bundesliga run this season end as they were hammered 5-1 by Eintracht on Saturday.

Bayern secured first place in Group A with 13 points last time out but a 0-0 draw at home to Copenhagen snapped their 17-game winning run in the competition’s group stage.

“I understand that some people thought that against Copenhagen it looked like we weren’t throwing everything into it,” Tuchel said.

“But when you sign for Bayern or (Manchester) United, you sign to give 100 percent every day. When you wear the Bayern Munich jersey, you behave like champions, there’s no other way. We have high expectations, even if we’re always under pressure.

“United will give everything tomorrow to get through,” added Tuchel. “But we expect a top performance from us. I hope we can match United’s enthusiasm and energy, which I’m sure they’ll bring to the game.”

The German said Bundesliga top scorer Harry Kane will play as he returns to England after his move from Tottenham Hotspur in August for a reported 100 million euros ($107.62 million).

“(Harry) scores a lot of goals and will be very happy to play here tomorrow,” Tuchel said. “It’s a great story that we were able to bring the England captain … to Germany.”

Sevilla appeal French ban on fans travelling for Lens Champions League game

Sevilla have lodged an appeal with French authorities over a ban on their supporters attending Tuesday’s Champions League game at Lens, which has been imposed after a fan was killed ahead of a Ligue 1 game earlier this month, the LaLiga club said on Monday.

On Dec. 2, a Nantes supporter died in a stabbing incident before their match at Nice. In response, the Interior Ministry on Friday announced a ban on away fans for a number of league and cup games at the weekend.

This has now been extended to include Sevilla supporters and the Spanish club were informed of the decision on Monday.

France’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced the plan to bar Sevilla fans in an interview with media outlet Brut on Sunday and an order from the Pas-de-Calais authorities confirmed the ban for their final Group B game.

“We have lodged an urgent appeal together with the Association Nationale des Supporters against the administrative decision to ban all of our fans from several areas and zones including in Lens and Arras, as well as against the French Ministry of the Interior’s plan to ban flights,” Sevilla said in a statement.

“We are aware of the difficulty in changing the policy of the French administration but we will use all legal and diplomatic means available to try to get our fans to the game against Lens.”

Before the official confirmation, Sevilla said they were engaging with the Spanish government to stop the ban, especially as many fans had booked flights and made travel arrangements.

“Quite simply it just does not make sense to ban 300 fans from going to help their team. Dropping this bombshell at late notice is unacceptable,” Sevilla president Jose Castro told the media on arrival at Lille airport on Monday.

“There was no official word of warning and it is an absolute farce and a breach of the rights of Spanish and European citizens.”

Speaking at a news conference, Lens manager Franck Haise also spoke out against the ban.

“I regret the decision, especially given how late the information came,” Haise said. “How are we going to manage the Olympic Games if we can’t welcome 300 Sevilla fans on French soil? There is a big problem.”

Neither Lens nor Sevilla can reach the Champions League knockout stage but they are battling to finish third and claim a playoff spot in the Europa League, a competition Sevilla won last season for a record-extending seventh time.

Lens have five points, three ahead of Sevilla, and a draw would therefore be enough for the French club.

A win for Sevilla would however see them finish third on the head-to-head tiebreaker after a 1-1 draw with Lens in Spain.

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