Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has spoken up on about his contractual situation at the club and what the future could look like for him, ahead of his side’s clash against Newport County on Sunday.
United are set to take on League Two outfit County at Rodney Parade in a fourth-round FA Cup clash.
During the second part of his presser, Ten Hag opened up on a number of issues including his United tenure, the possibility of a structural change at Old Trafford and what winning the FA Cup would mean for the club during a tumultuous and inconsistent season.
The Dutchman has often insisted that he and INEOS are on the same page regarding United and the way forward.
The United boss will be down to the final 12 months of his current deal with the club in the summer.
When asked whether the issue of an extension or fresh terms has been discussed with INEOS, he said, “We speak about many, many subjects but I can’t go into detail on any subjects, especially when it’s going into personal. But first and most important is that it’s about the club. It’s about the club, about the team and we have to work there on the highest standards to achieve our targets. It’s not about any individual person.”
He was put to task about whether he and his players are eager to prove themselves with Sir Jim Ratcliffe closing in on the ratification of his partial investment into the club.
Ten Hag cleverly replied, “Well, when you are in top football, I think you will know you have to prove yourself every day. And so that counts for everyone here working for this club.”
The 53-year-old was asked if the Red Devils are putting measures in place to take advantage of the changing landscape in English football, with Jurgen Klopp set to leave Liverpool and Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola also possibly on the way out in the near future.
He said, “We have to look to ourselves and keep working about reconstructing this club. And we know we need to be better. Last season we were overperforming, in the summer I think we were in a very good place. I think no one could expect what we achieved last season.”
“And now we have a downfall and we have to stop this. But I think it belongs to a project. Regarding Klopp, it’s great that you can keep the initiative, that you keep everything in your own hand, to step down in the moment you want it. And so when you want, there’s an era that has come to an end.”
The United boss admitted that any successful football club needs a proper structure that seeks to enhance performance right across the board. He insisted, “I think it’s [important to have a solid structure]… I agree with you that it’s so important that you have a foundation.”
Ten Hag was asked about the many off-pitch issues he has had to deal with and whether he felt United would be further ahead in their development if there wasn’t so much unnecessary drama to handle.
He stated, “That’s difficult to say, just hypothetical, so [it] doesn’t make sense to talk about this. Talk about where we are and the current situation in actuality. But be aware that you are in a trajectory and we have to follow the process. Sometimes you have the downfall and you have to turn it around, and we have now to work for that.”
Ten Hag emphasized the importance of winning the FA Cup and indicated that the aim at a club of United’s size and stature is to win every competition available.
United’s match vs. Newport County kicks off at 16:30 BST.