Copy of 2022-07-31T151109Z_442360610_UP1EI7V166JHX_RTRMADP_3_SOCCER-FRIENDLY-MUN-RAY-REPORT-1659343224068
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag. Image Credit: Action Images via Reuters

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is pleased with his side’s performance in pre-season but said there is still room to improve during the new campaign.

United finished their preparations for the new season with a 1-1 draw against Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford on Sunday after having played friendlies in Australia, Thailand and Norway.

“I think we (have had) a good pre-season. We make good progress. We are ready for the season,” said Ten Hag, whose team host Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday.

Young players

“I know there is still room for improvement. We have to improve and that is also a process that continues during the season. But, for next week, it’s about the result as well.”

The fixture against Rayo came a day after United’s defeat by Atletico Madrid in Oslo, and the game gave Ten Hag a chance to try out some of the youngsters in the squad.

“It was a mixture between experience and youth. Some guys, they need to see today, for the first time, what you can expect. You saw the attitude was really great,” he added.

Good combination

Ten Hag heaped praise on defender Lisandro Martinez, who made his debut on Sunday following a 57 million euros ($58.28 million) move from Ajax Amsterdam.

“No surprise. I think it was a really good combination with Rapha (Varane) and they played really solid. Always the question is how do you integrate and I think he can integrate quite well into the team,” he added.

United, who have also signed midfielder Christian Eriksen and left back Tyrell Malacia, finished sixth last season.