17 Aug 2022 | 08:03 | Football
Eric Ten Hager says the first three weeks of pre-season at United have been “so far, very good”, but admits he hopes all the signings are in place now as their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong continues.
Manchester United resumed training on Monday 27 June and flew to Thailand 12 days later. They beat Liverpool 4-0 in Bangkok.
Then they went to Australia for their second 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 feel “fit in body and sharper in spirit” since Ten Hag took over at Old Trafford, and in an exclusive interview the Dutchman admits he’s not impressed with what he’s seen Impressed by what I heard, but not satisfied from the group.
“I’ve seen them react well and give the best of themselves in every training session, and that’s also carried over to the game,” he said.
“I’m not satisfied, I think they have to bring more, but it won’t happen overnight. It takes time, it’s a process.
“The requirement is that they have to be fitter than they are now. But we are building it and that is the responsibility of the players themselves.
“Their response has been excellent but I know we are at the beginning of a process and it will take time. We need a full pre-season, at a minimum, but I also know at the start of the season we are not ready, but I also Knowing that in the beginning we needed results.”
Ten witches set out to revamp the team after former Ralf Rangnick finished sixth for the third time in six seasons last season, Tyrell softens, Christian Erickson and Lisandro Martinez He has joined the club so far this summer, spending around £72m.
The latter joined last week, with the Manchester United boss – after Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic and Andreas Pereira departed Finally, wanting to bring in reinforcements at the back and in midfield this summer – outlining what the newcomer can bring.
He continued: “Eriksen is an experienced player, he has played in the Netherlands, Italy, especially England and Tottenham, he has a long career and has made many appearances for the Denmark national team. “I think the whole Premier League knows what he can do, what he can contribute to the team, I call it creativity.
“Martínez is a different type. He’s a fighter, he brings aggression, but he can also play football and has a good left foot. That’s also what you need in the balance of the team to create players and players who can create defense.
“Defensively, we want to be proactive and at our highest level of defense. We’ve got three weeks left now and we’re trying to be proactive on the defensive side as well.”
However, it is Frenkie de Jong’s long pursuit This remains front and center of the club’s summer program.
Manchester United and Barcelona have struck a wide-ranging deal to bring the 25-year-old to Manchester in a £72m deal, but with no conclusion in sight, Ten Hager admitted he would have liked the club’s business to be over.
“That’s for sure,” he said.
“The best and perfect situation is when you start pre-season with the squad fully equipped, but most of the time it’s not a fact of football, so I’m realistic and I have to face that fact.”
Meanwhile, the current members of the squad, including Fred, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, have put in impressive displays in both friendlies so far.
Young rookies like Zidane Iqbal and Charlie Savage also appear to be taking their first-team responsibilities in stride, and Ten Haag’s words suggest this season will offer a chance to pass.
“Every new season is a new beginning,” he added. “Of course there is a past, but we don’t have to look back, we have to look to the future.
“Those players have great potential and when we put together a team they take responsibility for their physical condition and I’m sure they will perform well and we will get the right result.
“I think it’s always a matter of development. It’s the same with experienced players and young players. I’m a coach and I’m not afraid, if players are good enough and old enough, I’ll play against them.
“We set high standards and values, and the team responded to that. We’re delighted.”