- Ratcliffe’s £1.3bn investment in the Red Devils finally came to fruition this week
- Ten Hag said he has “many conversations” with the new co-owner about football
- Newcastle have gone backwards this season. They are ambitious and have all the resources, but what is the plan to follow? – everything is beginning podcast
Erik ten Hag insists he has the backing of new Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe but admits qualifying for the Champions League this season is vital.
Ratcliffe’s £1.3bn investment was finally ratified this week with the Ineos owner taking charge of the entire football operation at Old Trafford.
Ratcliffe was reluctant to discuss Ten Hag’s position but suggested that a succession of failed management appointments since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 was an indication that the “environment” was to blame.
Ten Hag was asked if he thinks Ratcliffe has confidence in him and replied: “Of course, I had that feeling.” We have so many conversations, we are very aligned, we have the same ambition, we are very aligned in the process.
‘We talk a lot. There are a lot of conversations with him and with (Sir) Dave Brailsford about this club, about this team and about the structures.
Erik ten Hag (pictured) has insisted Sir Jim Ratcliffe has “absolutely” confidence in him
Ratcliffe (pictured) completed his £1.3bn investment in the club and took charge of football operations.
Ten Hag said he talks ‘a lot’ with Ratcliffe about football and the ‘structures’ of the club
Your browser does not support iframes.
‘We are very aligned. It totally fits with the ambitions I have and those I had when I joined. I’m 19 months in and I see that we are going in the right direction.
‘We have had setbacks in the second season but you see the team coming. It is important to have fit players but also to build the squad. We will be strong and we will be even stronger when we add even more qualities to this team.”
When asked if there is more pressure on him now, Ten Hag said: ‘Nothing. No more pressure because we have the same ambition, we have the same goals.’
The Dutchman, however, said United “have to be in the Champions League” amid a disappointing season so far.
However, he admitted that securing the Champions League is imperative as United chase a top-four spot. It could prove pivotal in deciding Ten Hag’s future, and even more so with Thomas Tuchel leaving Bayern Munich at the end of the season.
“We will do everything in our power,” added the Dutchman. ‘There is strong competition and there are reasons behind it. “We still have to catch up, and at this moment when every game is a final for us because we have to be in the Champions League, we belong there but we have to prove it, and the players know it.”