Manchester United made hard work of their FA Cup fourth round tie against Newport County before eventually getting the job done 4-2 on Sunday.
It was not all doom and gloom as both Casemiro and Luke Shaw returned from injuries and while they were not spectacular, they emerged injury-free which is a good sign of things to come.
Ten Hag has really missed the Brazilian, who was arguably the player of the season last term.
Casemiro has been sorely missed
The former Real Madrid superstar did not start his second season at Old Trafford in quite the same way, intent more on the attacking part of his game while struggling to track runners.
Sofyan Amrabat was tried in the five-time Champions League winner’s place but the Moroccan has so far struggled to adapt to the Premier League’s pace.
The Dutch manager will be hoping his talisman can help steady the ship with the club in eighth place in the league and in danger of failing to qualify for Europe.
The 31-year-old admitted this season has been tough going but backed the manager to get things right eventually in an interview to CNN.
EtH gets support
“United are not in the best place at this moment in time. It was always my challenge to help my teammates and Manchester United keep growing and of course, as we all want, return the club to being the best in the world.
“I’m not the person who decides who should be manager. We have qualified people to decide that but [Ten Hag] showed last season he can grow Manchester United.
“Last season we had really good growth and the team was trending upwards. Of course, Manchester United always needs more and more and always needs to be winning but we showed last season that we are capable of achieving great things.”
Casemiro supports INEOS
But the midfielder was effusive in his praise for the British billionaire and he believes Ratcliffe can take the club back to the top of the footballing pyramid.
“He’s already introduced himself to us,” Casemiro said. “I think with his winning mentality and his wins in all sports, it’s always very important to have people that want to continue growing.
“With his experience he’ll return Manchester United to the highest possible level. We are very hungry to learn, grow and take the club to the highest place.”
United fans will be hoping to see last season’s Casemiro in action when United return to Premier League action and take on Wolves on Thursday.