Exclusive to Eric Ten Hag: Manchester United coach Frenkie de Jong, strong pre-season and more | football news
Eric Ten Hag says the first three weeks of pre-season with Manchester United have been “very good so far”, but admits he would have loved all the signings in place now as their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong continues.
United returned to training on Monday 27 June and traveled to Thailand 12 days later, They beat Liverpool 4-0 in Bangkok.
Then they moved to Australia on the second leg of their tour, They came from behind to beat Melbourne Victory 4-1With friendly matches against Crystal Palace and Aston Villa later this week.
Sky Sports Melissa Reddy reported earlier on Monday that United’s players have been feeling “better physically and mentally” since Ten Hag took charge at Old Trafford, and in an exclusive interview, the Dutchman admitted he was impressed – but not yet satisfied – with what he saw. from the group.
“I see they’re responding really well, every session they’re giving as much as they can, and that also moves into the game,” he said.
“I’m not satisfied, I think they should bring in more, but it won’t come overnight. It takes time, it’s a process.”
“The requirement is for them to be fitter than they are now. But we are building it, and it is the responsibility of the players themselves to be fit.
“They responded really well but I know we are at the beginning of a process, and it takes time. We need the full preparatory season, the minimum, but I also know at the beginning of the season that we will not be ready, but I also know at the beginning that we will need results.”
Ten Hag also set out to reshape the team after his predecessor, Ralph Rangnick, oversaw a third-place finish in sixth in six seasons last season, Tyrrell MalaciaAnd the Christian Eriksen And the Lisandro Martinez They joined the club so far this summer, representing an expenditure of around £72m.
The latter pair joined over the past week, and the United boss – who has wanted reinforcements in defense and midfield this summer, following the departures of Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic and Andreas Pereira – has made it clear what happened? It can bring in new recruits.
He continued: “Eriksen is an experienced player, he played in Holland, Italy and especially England with Tottenham, so a long career and also a lot of games with the Danish national team. I think the whole Premier League knows what he can do, what he can contribute to the team, and I would call that creativity.
“Martínez is a different kind. He is a warrior, he brings aggression, but he can also play football and he has a good left foot. That is also what you need in the balance of the team, players who can be creative as well as players who can defend.
“The defensive side, we want to be proactive, to be at maximum defensive power. We’re now three weeks into the game, and we’re working on the defensive side as well to be proactive.”
However , The Long Pursuit of Frenkie de Jong This is still front and center for the club’s summer plans.
United and Barcelona have struck a broad agreement over a £72m deal to bring the 25-year-old to Manchester, but with no outcome in sight, Ten Hag admitted he would have liked the club’s business already completed. .
“That’s for sure,” he said.
“The best and most perfect situation is when you start pre-season with a fully-equipped squad, but most of the time that’s not the reality of football, so I’m realistic and I have to deal with that fact.”
Meanwhile, current team members, including Fred, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, have made eye-catching displays in the two friendlies so far.
Young prospects like Zidane Iqbal and Charlie Savage seem to have taken first-team duties in their stride as well, and Ten Hag’s words suggest that this season will provide an opportunity to clear the roster.
“Every new season is a new beginning,” he added. “Of course there is a past, but we don’t have to look to the past, we have to look to the future.
“These players have high potential, and when we build a team, and take responsibility for their fitness, I am sure they will perform, and we will get the right results.
“I think it’s always about development. This is with experienced players and young players. I’m a coach, and I’m not afraid, if the players are good enough and old, I’ll play with them.
“We’ve set high standards, and values, and the team is responding to them. We’re happy about that.”