Erik ten Hag has told Manchester United staff ‘detailed plan’ for new season, reveals Steve McClaren

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Erik ten Hag has quickly got to work as Manchester United manager (PA)
Erik ten Hag has quickly got to work as Manchester United manager (PA)

Erik ten Hag spent five days developing a detailed plan for his first season as Manchester United manager and has already told staff exactly what he expects from them, according to his new assistant Steve McClaren.

Roles were reversed when Ten Hag was McClaren’s assistant at FC Twente a decade ago in a successful spell which brought the Dutch league title. Now McLaren returns to Old Trafford to work for Ten Hag, having previously been assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson during the club’s famous treble-winning season in 1999.

McClaren has revealed how Ten Hag immediately set to work the day after Ajax sealed the Dutch championship, confirming McClaren’s appointment as assistant alongside Ten Hag’s right-hand man at Ajax, Mitchell van der Gaag, and putting in place a plan to turn around United’s fortunes.

“We had the meetings the day after they celebrated the championship, and it was made official, and we got to work,” McClaren said, speaking to his son Josh in their McClaren Performance podcast. “He came to London last week where I met him and Mitchell and [football director] John Murtough, and together we spent five days, six days including yesterday with the press, and seven today.

“The work ethic, the attention to detail has again just been exemplified in the last few days where he’s practically met every member of staff who he’s going to be working very closely with, and in detail has worked out the plan, what each person’s job is. It’s like going back in time 10 years ago when I first met him, everything was mapped out and again that’s the case.”

McClaren even compared Ten Hag’s dedicated approach to his former boss, Ferguson.

“[Working with Ten Hag] allowed me time to have a look the full extent of the job at Twente, it get me that time to focus, watch, listen, take in the job, and eventually find a little niche where as the manager of the team, I could make my impact. I suppose the last seven days have epitomised that again, the attention to detail, all the planning, which he wants to get right. That’s from the day after he won the championship with Ajax, he’s on to the next, a little like Sir Alex Ferguson used to do.

“We just want to support Erik and make him successful, because if he is, then the team is.”

McClaren said he is excited to get to work when the squad reconvenes in three weeks, having been told to report for preseason duty early ahead of a long and gruelling season which starts in early August and includes the Qatar World Cup in November and December.

“It’s not just exciting going back to Manchester United, it’s exciting working with Erik again. Mitchell, is a very, very good coach, and hopefully together with the [existing] staff – John Murtough has also been a fantastics help – we can begin in the middle of June, the players come back and it’s a new beginning.

“Erik’s looking forward and I certainly am. It was great to catch up again over the last seven days and really bond again. Hopefully we make a great team off the field and hopefully produce one on the field.”

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