Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag explains Steve McClaren return and answers Palace question

Erik ten Hag's Man Utd in-tray

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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has opened up on his decision to include Steve McClaren in his backroom staff at Old Trafford. The 61-year-old previously worked under Sir Alex Ferguson. And he was instrumental as the club won the treble back in 1999. 

Ten Hag has been speaking at his first United press conference, with the 52-year-old jetting into England last week and watching the Red Devils’ 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Also present at Selhurst Park was McClaren, who is poised to return to Old Trafford.

He previously worked under Ferguson and, in the years since, has been manager of the England national team, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Derby and Queens Park Rangers among others.

And Ten Hag has now explained his decision to bring in both McClaren and Mitchell van der Gaag, saying: “They both know how to get success.

“They have both won titles and trophies in their careers and that’s why they’re here. Yes, recruitment is an important part and I’d like to work with them [the club].”

On the defeat to Palace, he said: “I observed it, I analysed it, but it’s for me. I wasn’t in charge and I take this information into the new season.”

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Ten Hag has been quizzed on Cristiano Ronaldo, too.

And he’s insisted the Portugal international will stay at the club, insisting he’ll bring goals to the team.

“Of course! [part of the project]. He will bring goals!” he stated.

On accepting the job, he added: The reason [Ten Hag took the job] is, although there is a fantastic history, is the high potential for the future – that’s why I’m here.

“I don’t speak with the players now, they need a break, they need a break to reflect, but I’m looking forward and I can’t wait to start.”


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Ten Hag did, however, appear to suggest he didn’t have a say in Ralf Rangnick having a consultancy role.

It’s part of my analysis. I analyse by myself, I observe, I speak to a lot of people, but finally, I’ll draw my own line,” he said.

“That is on the club [Rangnick’s consultancy].”

And he also insisted now wasn’t the time to talk about United potentially challenging for the Premier League title.

“I don’t think about that at this moment,” he said.

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“I’m thinking that this is a project and it takes time,” added the 52-year-old.

“We want to win every game. We go from game to game and then we’ll see.”

Soon bringing success back, he stated: “The confidence is that I have a good feeling with the people around.

“I have a good feeling from the meetings.

“We have a plan and now it’s about getting the plan done.”

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