'I hope to make you proud' - Erik ten Hag's first message to Manchester United
Erik ten Hag has officially taken over as the new Manchester United manager. In his first interview, he told that club that he hopes to make it proud.
Manchester United has ushered in a new era, as Erik ten Hag has officially taken over as the club's new head coach from Monday. It happens a day after the 2021-22 English Premier League (EPL) season ended, on Sunday, which also saw the club suffering a 0-1 away loss to Crystal Palace and finishing sixth in the points table. The Dutchman has wasted no time taking over the reins from caretaker manager Ralf Rangnick. Meanwhile, he also conducted his first interview with the club, where he had a lot to talk about, especially his vision for the Red Devils. Amidst all, he hoped to make the club and its fans proud.
"First of all, we want to make the fans proud. Second, of course, we are at this moment. The current situation is not that good. It's a big challenge. I want to build and construct a team battling for each other, who are unified and who will get results. Also, we are playing in the Theatre of Dreams. We want to entertain. But, in the end, the intention is to play fantastic football. If we can't play fantastic football, we still have to win," ten Hag declared.
As many wondered what compelled him to begin the job at United so early, ten Hag defined, "Before a season, you have to prepare, and when you are in a club, I will say it's a continual process. You're working on next season, and still, you are in the current season. But, we didn't have that time now, and now we close the season, and I'm coming over to meet people, roll out the strategy, prepare pre-season, prepare staff, and prepare a squad."
Critics have already labelled that any overnight success at United is far-fetched. However, on being asked about his long-term and short-term goals, the Dutchman stated, "It's first: accept the current situation and know that this club was second in the Premier League one year ago. There's potential, and now, it's up to us to get that out. It's a process, it will take time, but I'm convinced we will come to that point where we get success. We have to work hard, and it has to be based on the right philosophy and strategy."
"First, we have a break. We will start pre-season on 27 June, and I will get a few of the squad of the individual players. We want to renew the squad in certain positions, but as I said, one year ago, this squad was second in the league, so there is potential, and I'm looking forward to co-operating with the squad," ten Hag acknowledged about his short-term plans.