Erik ten Hag admitted that it can be ‘difficult’ for Manchester United players due to frequent references to the club’s history. The Dutchman also confirmed that criticism from club legends in the media can affect members of the dressing room.
In the wake of the worst season at Old Trafford for decades, Ten Hag has turned the club’s fortunes around since his appointment, which has seen United reach the Carabao Cup final and move to third in the Premier League table.
After defeating Barcelona in the Europa League on Thursday night, United are currently riding the crest of the wave and that performance has been widely regarded as the most significant win of Ten Hag’s tenure so far.
Ten Hag has received plaudits for his move at the club this season and that includes praise from former players now working in the media such as Gary Neville, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes Rio Ferdinand and Peter Schmeichel.
In his pre-Newcastle press conference on Friday afternoon, Ten Hag was asked if Schmeichel described the performance against Barcelona as ‘classic Ferguson’ and proceeded to discuss the pundits’ impact on his response.
Ten Hag admitted that criticism, particularly from club legends, can affect players and challenged them to make their own history.
“Sometimes it’s difficult for today’s players because there are many references to the past, a great story that former players made and I imagine those players (say it) because they love the club, it’s part of their lives,” Ten said. Haga said.
“What they love the most is what they criticize the most many times. So I can understand it, but sometimes it affects the players, that’s clear, but I also think it’s part of our job, we have to live with criticism and see it as a gift to do better.
“They want to help you and as a Manchester United player you know you have to perform, win matches and win trophies. That is only possible with the union, you can’t do it alone, you need the team to perform.” .
“That’s the point (players creating their own history), you are a Manchester United player and you have to create your own legacy, therefore you have to win trophies and we have that opportunity on Sunday.
“After Sunday, we’re still down to three meets and good chances to win something.”