Former Manchester United star Daley Blind says Erik ten Hag WILL be a success at Old Trafford if he is backed by the board as he calls his fellow Dutchman ‘one of the best managers around’ after working with him at Ajax
- Erik ten Hag will officially take over as Manchester United boss this summer
- The Dutchman has been backed by Ajax star Daley Blind to succeed at the club
- He called Ten Hag ‘one of the best managers’ but says he must be backed
- Dutch defender Blind played at Old Trafford between 2014 and 2018
Former Manchester United defender Daley Blind has backed Erik ten Hag to be a success at Old Trafford – as long as the club backs him – calling him ‘one of the best managers around’.
Ten Hag is preparing to take over at the club this summer after seeing out his final season at Ajax, where he and Blind enjoyed winning the Eredivisie title, and has held a planning meeting to draw up his first plans for United, as reported by Sportsmail.
Blind – who played for United between 2014 and 2018 before moving back to Ajax to link up with Ten Hag – insists he is ‘confident’ the coach will do well in his new role but urged United chiefs to give him patience.
Ex-Manchester United star Daley Blind has backed Erik ten Hag to be a success at Old Trafford
Ten Hag will turn his attention to the Man United job after winning the title with Ajax
‘Erik ten Hag is a great guy,’ Blind told Dutch outlet Bij Andy in de Auto, via Metro.
‘It’s not an easy job, of course, but he doesn’t run away from it either. He takes up the challenge.
‘I am quite confident in him at Manchester United but he needs the board behind him. At Ajax he had [Edwin] van der Sar and [Marc] Overmars behind him whatever happened, also in bad times.
‘I hope he gets the time there, he is one of the best managers around.’
Blind gave United fans a glimpse of what it was like working with Ten Hag, revealing his detailed approaches to games, even against opponents where they are expected to win the game.
Blind called Ten Hag ‘one of the best managers around’ and one who ‘leaves nothing to chance’
‘Ten Hag leaves nothing at chance. Sometimes we faced an opponent that we would automatically underestimate and we thought, “we don’t need a 45 minute meeting for this”.
‘But he approaches every single game the same, tactical training sessions… everything is detailed.’
Blind played for United 141 times, scoring six times, and won four trophies.
He moved back to Ajax – where he stared his career – in 2018 and has gone on to feature 171 times under Ten Hag, forming part of the side that reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2018-19.
Ten Hag is already preparing for his new role at United, where he will begin work following their final game of the season against Crystal Palace – the last under interim boss Ralf Rangnick.
He had already admitted he was getting ready to ‘flick the switch’ and focus on United as he lines up his backroom coaching staff and transfer targets.
Ten Hag told De Telegraaf: ‘We have agreed that I will be employed by Manchester United from May 16. There are still a few things that need to be done in preparation for the season.
‘Among other things, with regard to the make-up of the staff and the composition of the squad. I will leave my mark and I have to do it very carefully.
‘It’s time to turn the switch now,’ he said following Ajax’s draw. ‘It’s something that is needed because there is a lot to take care of and I have the energy for it. There is a lot of work to do there (United). That is the case with every club.’
Ten Hag has been tasked with turning United’s fortunes around after a disappointing season
Ten Hag has signed a three-year contract to take over from current interim boss Ralf Rangnick, who came in for the fired Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November but has failed to lift the team.
The incoming coach has already held a planning meeting in Amsterdam on Thursday last week, the day after Ajax sealed their latest league title win.
Sportsmail understands that Steve McClaren was summoned to Holland as part of the talks – a major indication that the former England boss is closing in on a return to United under Ten Hag.
Ten Hag is set to make former United assistant Steve McClaren part of his backroom staff
Ten Hag led a strategy meeting – that included his long-term assistant Mitchell van der Gaag and a member of staff from United’s recruitment team – understood to be football director John Murtough.
Transfer targets, which were discussed at the Amsterdam summit, are also a top priority as the window opens next month with reinforcements required in several positions.
Ten Hag will hope to have at least some of this transfer business done by the time United embark on a pre-season tour of East Asia and Australia in July.
They are set to face Liverpool in Bangkok on July 12 before flying to Melbourne for two fixtures.