Football

English Premier League: Manchester United Have 'New Energy' Ahead Of Ten Hag's Third Season

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag believes there is a "new energy" around the club as they prepare for the first full campaign under the Jim Ratcliffe regime

Erik ten Hag's Manchester United returned to pre-season training this week
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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag believes there is a "new energy" around the club as they prepare for the first full campaign under the Jim Ratcliffe regime. (More Football News)

Ten Hag oversaw a miserable eighth-placed Premier League finish in 2023-24 and was believed to be on the brink of being sacked, only for United to stun neighbours Manchester City in May's FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium.

Having led the Red Devils to a second major trophy in as many years at the helm, Ten Hag was then handed a contract extension to run through the 2025-26 season.

That new deal for the Dutchman represents a real show of faith from INEOS chief Ratcliffe, who assumed full control of football operations when he bought a 25% stake in the club last December.

Speaking to the club's media channels in his first interview since penning his deal, Ten Hag said there is a renewed atmosphere around the club.

"We won an FA Cup, we won a Carabao Cup, but also we have high expectations from ourselves," he said.

"We know it doesn't come overnight, we have to work for it. We are highly ambitious, so we have to raise our standards day by day, and improve every day.

"Every time, we have to live with the line in our head: good is not good enough. We have to do better."

The Ratcliffe regime has wasted little time in making changes to the football structure at Old Trafford, bringing in Dan Ashworth from Newcastle United as sporting director and appointing Jason Wilcox, formerly of Southampton, as technical director.

While United's 2023-24 campaign was underwhelming, Ten Hag feels the right pieces are in place for a brighter future. 

"United didn't win a trophy for six years. Now we've won two, but we are up for more, like the English title and even more, like going into Europe," he added.

"That's a process that takes time, and we'll work on it, but I know with the set-up at the club, with the changes to the structure, and the changes to infrastructure here around Carrington, we will be ready for the future. 

"We will improve. You feel it here, it gives us a new energy, it gives a new dynamic and that will help us to achieve our targets. 

"In the short-term, it stays the same: we want to win every game, and we have seen we are capable of beating everyone."

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