Manchester United youth coach, Tom Huddlestone, has launched a stern defence of under-fire manager, Erik ten Hag.
Speaking on TalkSPORT, the 37 year old claimed that “the club is on the right track and advised his transfer strategy”.
The former England international joined the club in a surprise deal in 2022 but to represent the under-21 team but mainly as a coach who plays on occasion.
When speaking on the radio show, the Englishman argued that the manager has suffered due to the significant injuries his team have faced and should certainly be given more time.
“I know the league position is not where the club want to be but I think things are on the right trajectory”.
The coach claimed that last year’s results showed that the team has “good ideas” and that the “players are buying into them”.
The coach pointed to the fact that rivals Newcastle and Tottenham have both struggled too when suffering fitness setbacks but that it is rarely taken into consideration for his current employers.
“For stages of the season, Man United have not had their strongest back four from last season, [Mason] Mount and Casemiro have been missing, Antony was missing”.
“You’ve almost got six or seven players that realistically would be in the starting eleven. But that gets brushed under the carpet if the results aren’t going well”.
The former Ajax coach has been critiqued by many pundits for his wasteful spending but Huddlestone contests that the manager in fact needs more time to see his previous squad additions in action.
“I think the lads seem to be buying into the manager’s ideas and patience is needed with a lot of managers and it will be interesting to see as and when he’s got a fully fit squad of his signings.”
Finally the former England international claimed that the club should avoid following one path of signings such as sticking to youth or only bringing in experienced professionals.
“I think you need a mix. I don’t think you can do one or the other”.
Huddlestone claimed Paris Saint-Germain’s past method of only signing established star players hasn’t worked and naturally the youth coach spoke highly of the future roles of his youngsters.
“If you can get a bit of experience through the spine of the team and blending that with Kobbie Mainoo, Alejandro Garnacho, Willy Kambwala, Dan Gore, they’ve been in and around the first-team this season, I think you can get a lot of success that way.”
Clearly Ten Hag still has the backing of his staff but what will matter much more to him is what new owners INEOS will be thinking at the end of the current campagin as he will be hoping to have done enough to save his job.