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Gary Neville interviews Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag: Harry Kane, Rasmus Hojlund and Man Utd’s styles of play | Football News


previous to monday night football, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag sat down with him Sky Sports Gary Neville talks about Harry Kane’s goal, Rasmus Hoglund’s positivity, as well as the club’s playing model and playing styles.

Ten Hag is approaching the end of his second season at the club, which has seen a number of ups and downs on and off the pitch.

Manchester United have suffered a raft of injuries – particularly at centre-back and left-back – which Ten Hag repeatedly refers to in his chat with former Manchester United defender Neville.

Before facing Crystal Palace on Monday live Sky SportsTen Hag covers this and much more when you speak with Neville…

Ten Hag: You can’t compare different players like Kane and Hoglund



picture:
Rasmus Hoglund has scored eight goals in the Premier League this season

“This club can only have quality players because the expectations are so high. Manchester United is the biggest, or maybe the second or third, biggest club in the world, with the highest fan base, so the expectations will always be there.”

“Everyone has an opinion about Manchester United, and there can only be quality players.

“These players have all the skills, which are the physical skills and especially the mental skills they need to perform and contribute because we have to win every game. There are expectations about every game from us, so you can only achieve that expectation when you have these outstanding players.

“But in the last decade and this period, we haven’t always been able to get the players we wanted. But then you have to build and you have to accept that you are getting talent rather than players who have already proven that in the past.

“We made some selections with talents like Rasmus Hoglund. I can see a striker who has already proven that, and we want to sign him and we couldn’t get him. And then we went for Rasmus because he’s talented.”

When asked if he meant Harry Kane: “Yes, and you know that Harry Kane will score 30 goals for you. I think Rasmus will reach that goal, but he needs time. It is not fair to evaluate him the same as Harry Kane. I will never compare two players because they are completely different.

“But with Hoglund, I think we had the most potential as a striker last summer and we are very happy with him. But he also needs time to adapt and we are very happy that he has shown his goal-scoring skills.”



picture:
Erik ten Hag had targeted Harry Kane in the summer, with the striker eventually joining Bayern Munich

“He had a very good period where he scored a lot of matches after he showed that, but before and after that, he had some physical problems, which is normal for a young player coming up. But he has a negative impact on the result of the team and that’s it.” What you have to accept.

“Then we go back to the fans and the opinion makers, and they don’t understand or don’t want to understand it. This is how Manchester United is judged, they only see the result, but we need time.”

“You have to accept that the process goes slower and then you can’t expect it to happen straight away [away] Competing for the Champions League and English Premier League titles.

Ten Hag based on the Man United game model

Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag sits down with Gary Neville to discuss the structure at the club, working with the new INEOS ownership and more.

Jason Wilcox was recently appointed as manager at Manchester United, with a focus on the ‘game model’ – where every team at one club plays in the same way, such as Ten Hag’s previous side, Ajax.

“There is a game model here. How do you think?” [Alejandro] Garnacho and Kobe Maino able to move up? This is because one of my goals from the previous leadership team was to achieve this.

“It was already happening, they were really improving the academy. You can see they won the FA Youth Cup, the academy teams became champions and that is the structure that was put in place two years ago.

“Now you see some revenue from it, and the best thing is bringing in players [into] First team like Kobe and Garnacho.

Erik ten Hag, Manchester United’s coach, downplayed talk of player departures at the club this summer

“They are very young players and they are already international players for England and Argentina. They are at a very good level and one of the best players at the moment in their country and they are world-class countries.”

“They are performing at the required levels, but we need more of these players because football is moving very quickly. Developments are moving very quickly so you cannot stand still, you have to make new improvements all the time so that the job of the technical staff, the director who works on a game model is the right choice.” .

“There is a rule here and evidence there as well.

“The initial meetings are good… Now we have to take things quickly because the summer is coming. It is a very important period as you enter the window. We want to take the next step in our team and make plans to create an environment that avoids this year’s problems with injuries.”

Ten Hag talks about Manchester United’s style of play – and why it hasn’t worked this season

“frustration [at the style of play not working] Not the right word because I’m a realistic guy. When I came in last year, you made your own adjustments but at the end of the day, it’s about winning games. Since last year, we have found a way to create a very successful team.

“This year, we wanted to take the next step. We bought a goalkeeper who can play out from the back, a dynamic midfielder in Mason Mount – who has been injured all season – and a goalscorer in Hoglund who is young and needs experience.” time.

“On the one hand, we were very confident that we made the right choices and we could take the next step. But all the injuries are coming and we made a lot of changes in some positions like the back four.

Why are there so many injuries at centre-back and left-back?

Manchester United coach Erik Ten Hag speaks to Sky Sports’ Gary Neville:

“We do research, but a lot is also about bad luck. When you are in the season and the results are not going a certain way, you will always see that you get more injuries than in a season where everything is going well.

“We saw that, but we are still in this season with four games left and we have a cup final. We see the players coming back and it gives us a good mood.”

“So far we have played 47 games and had 30 combinations in the back four. Those were not your choices, they were forced choices because the players were injured… Anyone who has even a little knowledge about football, will do that.” I know it will have a huge impact.

“Then Casemiro was injured for a long time. We had so many problems in the team that you can’t always play the way you want.

“But the fans want to see a successful team, a winning team. What we always try to do, which is a compliment to the team, in every game, they gave their best and they had spirit.

“We’re making adjustments a little bit to our game because when you don’t have a left-footed centre-back or a left-sided wing-back, you have to make the adjustments you want to play with, so we did.

Sky Sports News’ Melissa Reidy explains why Erik ten Hag is laughing at suggestions of an imminent summer departure at Manchester United

“We’re not where we want to be the way we want to play, but the headlines are still there because we want to be proactive, be dynamic and we want to play with a high line. That’s what we always aim for.”

“We’ve made improvements. We’re scoring more goals after the winter break and we’ve also been more consistent. We haven’t had many defeats in 2024 – just three – but we’ve drawn a lot. What we can do is put ourselves in a good position.” A winning position, but then you have to draw it to get over the line.

“When you have a lot of changes in the back line, the rules and principles remain the same, but the patterns are not there. We are not getting results and we know that.”

Has Ten Hag ever thought about playing more defensively?

Football’s Sam Blitz and Peter Smith take a closer look at Manchester United’s squad and discuss who could be kept or sold this summer in a period of change at Old Trafford.

We thought about this, but one of my goals here was to provide proactive gameplay.

He added: “The players will come back, so if you adjust after that, and enter a very defensive style that does not suit the players we already have, then if you do not get results, everyone will lose confidence.”

“Then when the players come back, you have to go back to being proactive and I’ve lost a few times.

“At the same time, you see the proactive approach. We have improved our attacking style, scored more goals and been more consistent… We are making improvements, but not enough.”

“We know that, we know what it takes and what the criteria are. We want to get back to winning so we have to take the next step. We have to get into a winning position and then get over the line.”

Gary Neville backs Eric Ten Hag’s response to reports Manchester United will overhaul their squad as a ‘joke’

Manchester United also had more than 600 shots on target this season – the most ever in the Premier League.

“I see the statistics and they are clear. Last season, we had a consistent back four, we did the same and had the most clean sheets in the Premier League.

“So when everyone is fit, they can deliver the way we want to defend, but it’s also about possession. When you don’t have the players at the back and the patterns, when you don’t have the left-footed players on the left side, you really have to make your own adjustments.”

“It changes the way you play, but also your possession, and when you have less possession, you also have more shots.

He added: “There are some reasons why this happened, but I don’t think it has anything to do with the way we want to play because this proves that.” [last season]“We had the most clean sheets in the Premier League.”

Ten Hag talks about defending his players in the media and in the FA Cup final

Manchester United coach Erik Ten Hag has praised Jadon Sancho after his recent performance for loanee Borussia Dortmund, but will not talk about his future at the club next season.

“I have to defend the team against some injustice [in recent press conferences]. We can accept that, we know the criteria and first of all, we are not happy with the season, but we know that we can win the cup this season, so stay positive.

“Everything is judged negatively, but in our attacking style, we have improved over the course of the season. Some of the young players are improving a lot and it is unfair to say that everything is bad.”

He added: “Young players also need time to reach their best levels, but they have the potential they are showing this season, and that is positive.”

Gary Neville says he doesn’t want an excuse mentality to creep into the Manchester United dressing room

“Now, we need a consistent team and when we have that, we are confident that we can achieve more wins.

“We have two chances. First, we have to defend our position in the league, so that’s one focus. And second, of course, twice in two years we’ll go to the FA Cup final and it’s a great opportunity to win the Cup again.

“It’s not often that Manchester United have played twice in two years in an FA Cup final, especially in the last 10 years. For this group of players, it’s a great opportunity that we have to take advantage of.”

The Football Show’s Sam Blitz and Peter Smith discuss the options open to Manchester United this summer as Jadon Sancho returns to form.

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