Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has told his squad that he’s ‘not satisfied’ with their current level during a reminder of his lofty standards. The Red Devils are making steady progress under Ten Hag, but he won’t be happy with his side’s precarious position domestically and in Europe.
Upon his appointment at Old Trafford, the Dutchman was expected to bring an astute level of detail and demand to the club. And he hasn’t disappointed at the dawn of his rebuild, during which he’s striving for a culture overhaul off the pitch and perfection on it.
Ahead of Wednesday’s crunch clash against Tottenham Hotspur, Ten Hag explained his high standards and warned his United squad that they have to do better than their current performances. He told reporters: “I’m a person who is never satisfied.
“I’m happy to be here, but I’m not satisfied with where we are. But I also know that I’m impatient. I think good is not good enough. We have to do better. I see many things that can go better. But I also see improvement, so when we keep going with this progress, we’ll improve more, and I will be even happier.”
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United have won five of their seven Premier League games since starting the season with back-to-back defeats against Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford. But they have triumphed by more than one goal just once in the league, and their troubles in the final third were apparent in Sunday’s 0-0 draw at home to Newcastle United.
The result left Ten Hag’s men three points outside the top four, and Liverpool’s win over Manchester City would’ve only boosted the Anfield giants on their way back into the picture. The Europa League likely presents the best chance for United to return to the Champions League next season, but the group stage hasn’t been plain sailing.
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United have won three of their four fixtures, but a 1-0 home defeat to Real Sociedad to start the campaign has left them at risk of needing to play two playoff games once club football returns after the World Cup break. Ten Hag will need to inspire his side to victory against Sheriff Tiraspol next week before what will effectively be a Group E final at La Real.
If the La Liga outfit, who have won all four of their games, also triumph against Omonoia Nicosia next week, United must win by a better scoreline than 1-0 in Spain to finish top. Ten Hag is making headway, but there is a sense that United are making things more complicated than they need to be in the early stages of his maiden season at the helm.
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