Erik ten Hag has revealed that he knew taking the Manchester United job would involve leading a ‘difficult project’, though was not aware of all of the club’s problems.
The Red Devils appointed the Dutchman as their new permanent manager at the end of a tumultuous 2021/22 campaign – statistically their worst since the Premier League’s inauguration.
His interim predecessor, Ralf Rangnick, frequently called out the club’s inaction and stagnation during press conferences, and speaking ahead of United’s Carabao Cup clash with Burnley, Ten Hag admitted that he was only partly aware of the state of these issues.
“I knew it would be a difficult project. Man Utd was not in circumstances that you would expect of them,” he said. “I think now we’re in the right direction but we’re far away from where we need to be.”
Ten Hag’s United went into the World Cup break in decent form and there were clear signs of on-field improvements. He was, however, keen to ensure that standards don’t slip this side of the mid-season interval.
“I always say, satisfaction makes you lazy,” he said. “If you are too satisfied with yourself and the team, you will not maintain high standards. It’s up to me to control that and set good example. We have to live high standards all the time.”