Ten Hag insists he wants to put United 'on top of the world'

‘I want to get us back on the top of the WORLD’: Erik ten Hag makes bold pledge to Manchester United fans… but insists it will be a ‘difficult process’ because ‘standards’ have slipped

  • Erik ten Hag made some bold claims ahead of his side’s Carabao Cup clash 
  • The Manchester United boss says he wants to put the side ‘on top of the world’ 
  • He also admitted it’s been a ‘difficult process’ since arriving at Old Trafford 
  • He’s called for a ‘change in attitude’ from his side as they face Aston Villa 

Erik ten Hag says he wants to put Manchester United ‘on top of the world’ but admits the standards at Old Trafford had slipped when he took over in the summer.

Ten Hag has won 12 of his first 19 games in charge ahead of Thursday’s Carabao Cup third round tie against Aston Villa, having lost 3-1 to the same opponents in the Premier League on Sunday.

The Dutchman feels he is going in the right direction to restore United to former glories after inheriting a difficult situation, but has warned there will be setbacks along the way.

Erik ten Hag has boldly claimed he wants to put Manchester United ‘on top of the world’

United will face Aston Villa on Thursday night having lost to them in the league on Sunday

‘It’s a great challenge and I like it,’ said Ten Hag. ‘It gives me energy and I want to give everything in my power to get us back where we belong and that is on the top of the world.

‘I knew from the start, it’s an exciting process but also a difficult process, because I think Manchester United was far away from the standards that we need to be top.

‘So we’ve worked for the last five months on the process and, as you see, it goes up and down. Sometimes you have to swallow bad performances, defeats, to get better and to get lessons.

‘Also sometimes you are conscious that you are not where you want to be and that you have to work really hard.

‘I have a feeling that we are in the right direction and I’m quite impatient. I want to be straight and to win all the games and be on top of the league, but I know that is not a reality.

Ten Hag admitted he knew that his job at Manchester United would involve a ‘difficult process’

‘The process takes time, but when we are not there – where we should have been – then something is wrong.’

Ten Hag admits the comprehensive defeat at Villa Park was one such lesson, and has challenged his players to make amends against Unai Emery’s side in the cup.

‘Sometimes you have a setback like Sunday and we are definitely not happy with the performance,’ he added. ‘I feel responsible. When I see my team on Sunday, that is not Manchester United.

‘I know players are not robots but we were not happy with our performance at Villa Park on Sunday.

‘We made it quite clear in our analysis: it’s not acceptable, it’s never acceptable. We have to deliver every game and that is the culture that has to be here. It’s not good.

The Dutchman asked for ‘a change in attitude’ from his side when they face Villa tomorrow

‘We can’t change that anymore but it’s clear, we want a reaction tomorrow from the team. A change in attitude, a better winning attitude and, tomorrow, we have to bring that on the pitch.’

Ten Hag will make some changes from Sunday’s line-up to freshen up his team ahead of this weekend’s final league game at Fulham before the World Cup. Antony faces a late fitness test but Jadon Sancho is once again ruled out.

‘We have a lot of games to cover,’ he said. ‘This is a different league [competition], so we plan some changes but we want to play a strong team and we have only one aim: we have to win tomorrow and we want to go to the next round.

‘We are playing in a lot of cups and I want to win trophies. We want to qualify in the top four. That has to be the aim, to get there. It’s going to be hard this season, because from what I’ve heard around me this is maybe the strongest Premier League in years.’

United players train at Carrington before travelling for the Carabao Cup clash at Villa Park

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