Manchester: New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has told the club’s players thay have to come together and ‘co-operate’ if the team are to challenge for top honours.
United finished sixth in the Premier League last season, ending their campaign under interim manager Ralf Rangnick with a 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace.
The disappointing season has been accompanied by widespread reports of divisions within the club and the team and a difficult relationship between some of the players and German Rangnick.
Dutchman Ten Hag says he expects a different approach under his charge.
“Everywhere I was in my career, I have high demands on my players. I expect them to fight and give 100 per cent,” said Ten Hag, who bowed out as Ajax manager by bringing another title to the Amsterdam club.
“We have to do better and they have to co-operate. They have to be unified, to form a team, and to battle the opponent,” he said.
United will play in the Europa League next season and also face the challenge of trying to catch up with local rivals Manchester City who won the title, finishing 35 points above United.
“Of course we are in this moment, the current situation is obviously not that good. It’s a big challenge,” said Ten Hag.
“I want to build and construct a team who are battling for each other, who are unified and who will get results. Also we are playing in the Theatre of Dreams.
“We want to entertain. But in the end, the intention is to play fantastic football. If we can’t play fantastic football, we still have to win,” he added.