Erik ten Hag, the new manager of Manchester United, will order his players to report for preseason two weeks earlier than originally planned.
Ten Hag has been underwhelmed by the Red Devils after agreeing to become Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s permanent replacement this summer.
According to Mirror Sport, the Dutchman feels the team he will inherit would require an additional two weeks of fitness work to prepare for the style of play he intends to install at Old Trafford.
He is said to have been ‘unimpressed’ with United’s fitness levels while watching recent games from afar.
On July 4, players were anticipated to return to Carrington to begin a new phase under Ten Hag.
However, the 52-year-old’s demands will see some stars return to training as early as June 20, one month after this season’s final game against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Ten Hag feels that United’s low performances this season are primarily due to a lack of fitness and conditioning.
And, after potentially steering Ajax to a third consecutive Dutch Eredivisie title on Wednesday, he is due to begin meeting players via Zoom conversations this week.
Since taking over in November, interim manager Ralf Rangnick has been vocal about the club’s existing roster and the recruiting that has led to their plight. The German coach has frequently chastised United’s fitness and physicality for failing to adapt to his gegenpressing system.
Ten Hag expects his players to be at their optimum physical endurance throughout the duration of games.
So, it comes as no surprise he wants to waste little time in drilling his philosophy into United’s underperforming stars.
Rio Ferdinand says Jose Mourinho was right about Man Utd
Rio Ferdinand has apologised to Jose Mourinho for his assessment of the manager’s stint at Manchester United, saying the Portuguese has been justified by his comments regarding the club’s problems.
Mourinho finished second with United in the 2017-18 Premier League season but was fired a few months later with the team in sixth place, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brought in initially on a caretaker basis to replace him.
Following his resignation, the 59-year-old told beIN Sports in 2019 that his second-place result was “one of the finest jobs of my career” due to “behind the scenes” concerns that the public was unaware of.
Speaking on his Vibe with FIVE YouTube show, Ferdinand said: ‘I think Jose Mourinho’s quote has aged so, so well. And me for one, I would apologise maybe to some extent in terms of the way you kind of looked at him and judged him.
‘I still think there were flaws in some of the ways he handled people and handled some of the situations that he was involved in.
‘But in terms of looking behind the scenes, that [quote] he said in 2019 on finishing second in the Premier League, that has aged so well.
‘We can see that there’s been stuff going on that’s wrong behind the scenes, but at that time we didn’t know the extent of it. Obviously, Jose Mourinho did.’