Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag has expressed his confidence ahead of the club’s return to Premier League action against Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon. The Reds are set to face the Magpies in the first of nine fixtures scheduled for the month of April, following the completion of the recent international break.
Speaking to journalists at Carrington on Friday afternoon, Ten Hag was quizzed on a range of topics, including the future of Wout Weghorst, the club’s Champions League aspirations, and the resumption of the Premier League season.
Weghorst has been a key player for Manchester United this season, and Ten Hag believes that the Dutch striker’s contributions to the team have been significant.
“I think he is doing a lot of elements of football really well,” said Ten Hag. “He is doing a really good job for us in pressing, so he is the leader of the process in pressing. He starts the press and he is very good in the backward pressing. He is taking other positions and his link-up play, he is doing really well.”
Ten Hag went on to explain that Weghorst’s contributions have been instrumental in the team’s success, particularly in the second half of the season. “He creates movements and makes good movements. He is also good in the set plays. He is really a contribution to the performance of this team and this team after Christmas, we played 25 games and we lost two games. So you can see and he played nearly almost all those games. He was really a part of that success.”
With the summer transfer window fast approaching, Ten Hag was also asked about the importance of Champions League football in attracting new players to the club.
“Of course, we are more interesting when we are in the Champions League, but when we are not, we are still attractive for players,” said Ten Hag. “This club attracts people and it is very interesting for them, they want to be part of this club.”
We want to win every game – Erik Tag Hag, Man Utd ahead of its match against Newcastle
However, Ten Hag was quick to stress the importance of Man Utd’s participation in the Champions League. “Let’s make one thing clear, we have to play Champions League football and a club like Manchester United has to play in the Champions League. So there is no misunderstanding.”
When asked about the Man Utd Club strategy for competing with teams with significantly higher budgets, Ten Hag pointed to his time at Ajax as evidence that success can be achieved without spending big.
“When I was at Ajax, we had a low budget in comparison with many opponents in the Champions League and still, we won the groups, we came to the semi-finals and we were really close to [reaching] the final. It is also possible with a lower budget to beat teams with a higher budget.”
Ten Hag also expressed his belief that Manchester United is heading in the right direction in terms of their strategy for future success.
“From my analysis, we are in a good direction, the right direction,” said Ten Hag. “I think we are building a base this season and from here on, we have to progress and develop. You can do that by developing a team and that is every game, you have to play.”
As Man Utd prepare to return to Premier League action, Ten Hag emphasized the importance of approaching every game with the same level of intensity and focus.
“We want to win every game and I think that is when we talk about culture,” said Ten Hag. “To construct a culture you have to win every game and I think that is the approach we have in every game, so we will prepare every game 100 per cent, we don’t want to miss things in any game. I think that is what makes us a successful team.”
Ten Hag’s emphasis on winning every game is indicative of the culture he has built at Ajax. The Dutch coach believes that a winning mentality is crucial to the success of any team, and he has instilled that mentality in his players. For Ajax, every game is important, regardless of the competition or the opponent. The team’s preparation for each game is meticulous, and nothing is left to chance. This approach has paid dividends for Ajax in recent years, as they have won numerous titles both domestically and internationally.
In addition to their winning mentality, Ajax is also known for its emphasis on youth development. The club has a long history of producing talented young players, and Ten Hag has continued that tradition during his time as coach. The Dutchman has given numerous young players their chance in the first team, and many of them have gone on to become key contributors for Ajax. The club’s emphasis on youth development has also helped to create a sense of unity and camaraderie within the team.
Erik ten Hag’s culture at Ajax is built on a foundation of hard work, discipline, and a winning mentality. The Dutch coach has instilled those values in his players, and the results speak for themselves. Ajax has become one of the most successful clubs in Europe in recent years, and they have done so while playing an attractive style of football and producing talented young players.
Ten Hag’s culture has proven to be a winning formula, and it will likely continue to drive Ajax’s success in the future.