Erik ten Hag has laid out his plans for the Manchester United squad who will remain with the club during the World Cup.
With travelling squads being announced over the last few days, United will have up to 21 players attending the 2022 Qatar tournament.
And the United boss has told the club’s official website that he intends to work hard with the remaining players over what will be a unique time of the season.
The Dutchman took charge of an unusual press conference yesterday, taking questions from supporters rather than journalists, which is the norm.
With 12 lucky representatives in attendance at the club’s Carrington training complex, the United manager answered questions on a wide range of topics.
Upon being asked what his plans were by one of the Official Supporters Clubs present, he replied that he had “thought long and hard about the best way to keep them progressing during an unusual period of the season”.
“We have a lot of players that are going to the World Cup and we are happy with that, as it means we have top-class players”, admitted the 52 year old coach.
He went on to discuss how the players who won’t be in Qatar will be given some much-needed time off too, ahead of what will be a hectic restart to the Premier League campaign.
“For the ones that stay behind – and there are not a lot – it gives us the opportunity, first of all, to reflect on the last period and to make new plans, not only on how we are going in the right direction but how we can improve”, the United boss explained.
And with more time to focus on the academy stars too, Ten Hag will no doubt be looking to some of United’s promising young stars to take their opportunity to shine.
“It can also give us the opportunity… we talk about young players, we will bring them in so that they can present themselves to us”, he said, giving encouragement to the next crop of youngsters trying to make it at the club.
And when quizzed on the fighting spirit that he is trying to instill throughout the club, the former Ajax boss impressed fans by stressing how important the Manchester United history is.
“First of all, I want to emphasise, if you are talking about the spirit: one thing that I notice here, when you see the history, Manchester United in their history won a lot of trophies, a lot of titles,” the Reds boss said.
“And it was always by team spirit and fighting spirit. Manchester United also had fabulous offensive players, who I know were really the most creative and really recognisable players who fans could identify with. After all, it’s the team spirit and the team fighting that was the base that is in the culture of Manchester United”, said Ten Hag, only enamouring himself to the supporters more.
With the club seemingly heading in the right direction and having a clear plan for the duration of the World Cup and beyond, having a manager who wants to bring that winning mentality back means that the future is surely in safe hands.