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Ten Hag tells Van de Beek how to return to the Man Utd fold.

Ten Hag tells Van de Beek what to do to stand a chance of breaking into the Man Utd team.

Man Utd's Van de Beek will not be available to play against Everton on Sunday evening.

Erik ten Hag says he would like to see midfielder Donny van de Beek improve his fitness in order to get a chance to compete for a spot in Manchester United’s starting XI.

The 25-year-old was a key member of Ten Hag’s Ajax side before securing a move to Old Trafford from the Eredivisie giants.

Since joining the Red Devils, Van de Beek has failed to secure a first team position and has found games hard to come by, even after returning from his loan move to Everton.

During a press conference on Friday, Ten Hag confirmed Van de Beek won't be available for Man United’s crunch Premier League clash against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday but affirmed that the Netherlands international will get his chance when he returns from injury.

“He had a muscle injury that took a couple of weeks,” said Ten Hag. “He is now back on the training ground but is outside doing work and it is still individual. He has not returned to team training and we have to wait for that moment.

“He has to be fit. He had a pre-season which went OK and he came on against Brighton and he did very well. But you have to be available. When you are not available, you cannot get a place in the first XI.

“Now he has to make sure that he can get fit and then fight for his position. His chance will come.”

United have been conceding goals of late, 8 in their last two games against Manchester City and Cyprus club Omonia, however, Ten Hag has urged his Red Devils to be “smart but nasty” going forward this season.

The United boss also admitted he wasn’t happy with some of the refereeing decisions in the Manchester derby last weekend as he ponders why his players continue to receive unnecessary yellow cards in a league deemed as physical.

“We have too many bookings, and I don’t understand,” he said. “We want to play tough, and we want to get the game going.

“Then, in the second minute we get a booking. It was a duel, it was a foul, but get booked? I saw many other bookings and thought, ‘is that necessary?’

“I have to take it to the players to look in the mirror. They have to play smart but they also have to play nasty as well.”

The match against Frank Lampard's Toffees on Sunday is a big one for Ten Hag as he seeks to return to winning ways, and Man United have won just one of their last seven Premier League matches against Everton (D4 L2), which was the 3-1 triumph at Goodison Park back in November 2020.

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