Thursday, July 25, 2024

Ten Hag urged to build on Man Utd ´togetherness´ by former Red Devil Brown

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 4 Jul 2024

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Manchester United expressing their commitment to Erik ten Hag can only build togetherness, so says Wes Brown, who urged the Red Devils to improve next campaign.

Ten Hag was reportedly nearing the exit door at Old Trafford after guiding United to eighth in the top flight last season, their lowest finish in the Premier League era.

Yet the Dutchman saved his job with the FA Cup final victory over fierce rivals Manchester City, securing his second trophy in as many seasons and sneaking into the Europa League in the process.

Former United defender Brown believes the club’s backing of the manager can only improve the mood in the squad, who must perform better for Ten Hag when the 2024-25 campaign begins.

“He’s done well, we obviously won the cup last season against Man City,” said Brown, speaking to Stats Perform at the Home of Adidas football in Berlin.

“I think expectations are always going to be high for any manager at Manchester United. But since we were let down a little bit in the league last year, we want to be in the Champions League, we want to finish as high as we can.

“I think that is a priority. No one knows [the new] signings yet, that normally happens after a major tournament, so we’re not sure what’s going to happen there yet.

“But I really like the manager and at times the players have let themselves down. But you can see there’s a togetherness coming together and he just has to keep that going now.

“He knows where he’s going to be now for the next few years. With that all sorted out, he can now move on and do the job to the best of his ability.”

Thomas Tuchel, Mauricio Pochettino and Thomas Frank were all linked to the United job as speculation loomed over Ten Hag’s future.

Brown, who played 232 times for United after coming through their academy, says ending those rumours should positively impact Ten Hag’s players.

Asked if uncertainty around Ten Hag’s future would impact the squad, Brown responded: “I think it does. I’ve probably been in the same situation at other clubs.

“It definitely helps going forward, if anything you don’t think about it, it’s all done now.

“It definitely helps in the sense of coming together as a team and we’re all in it together, and we can now move forward for the next few years and make the club better again.”

Ten Hag will be expecting additions to a squad that was ravaged by injury struggles last term, especially in defence.

Raphael Varane has left the club, while Lisandro Martinez and Harry Maguire struggled with injuries last campaign.

United are in the market for centre-back options, with Bayern Munich’s Matthjis de Ligt and Jarrad Branthwaite, of Everton, both linked as potential additions.

Brown insists that position must be the priority for United in the transfer window.

“Branthwaite had a good season,” Brown added. “It’s been difficult for Everton, but his personal performances have been very highly rated and De Ligt as we know is a great player.

“Depending on what happens at Munich, you never know, but I think a priority is a defender coming in alongside Martinez and if we could get one of them, I’d be very happy as a fan.”

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