Manchester United's head coach Erik ten Hag applauds at the...

Manchester United's head coach Erik ten Hag applauds at the end of the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023. Credit: AP/Dave Thompson

MANCHESTER, England — Manchester United won a hat trick of monthly English Premier League awards on Friday to push back talk of a crisis for manager Erik ten Hag.

Ten Hag and Harry Maguire were voted the league's manager and player of the month, respectively, for November, while Alejandro Garnacho's stunning overhead kick against Everton was named the best goal.

The awards came at the end of a week when Ten Hag faced reports of player unrest in the locker room, which led to journalists being banned from a news conference.

“We know where we are going and we had our setbacks, especially at the start of the season,” the Dutchman said. "Things went against us with injuries, decisions, and sometimes you find yourselves in such a place.

“You see the character of the team, we’re in a better place, better form. The performances are increasing, we are performing as a team and as individuals, you have to be sharp in every game."

Maguire's award comes after he had been stripped of the United captaincy and pushed to the fringes of Ten Hag's squad.

The England center back looked set to leave the club in the offseason, but has fought his way back into the first team and has been one of United's best performers this term.

Manchester United's Harry Maguire applauds at the end of the...

Manchester United's Harry Maguire applauds at the end of the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023. Credit: AP/Dave Thompson

“Couldn’t have done it without my team mates, the staff and you fans. Your love and support doesn’t go unnoticed, I appreciate it,” he posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Reports of player unrest came after United lost for the 10th time this season, against Newcastle last week. But victory against Chelsea on Wednesday moved it to within three points of defending champion Manchester City and the top four.

United can go level on points with City if it beats Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Saturday, with Pep Guardiola's team playing against Luton on Sunday.

Ahead of that game Ten Hag said he had faith in Marcus Rashford to regain top form after the forward was dropped for the win against Chelsea.

Manchester United's Harry Maguire applauds at the end of the...

Manchester United's Harry Maguire applauds at the end of the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023. Credit: AP/Dave Thompson

Rashford was United's top scorer last season with a career-best 30 goals. He has failed to replicate that form this term with just three goals in 19 appearances.

“Rashford is an incredible, good player. You can’t do it with 11 players, he can’t play every game," said Ten Hag. "He’s not in this moment in the form he was last year, but I am sure he will get there.

“It is up to him. The team will always line themselves up and the best players who form the best team will play.”

United later said Rashford missed training on Friday due to illness and was now a doubt for Bournemouth.

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James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson

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