‘We just want to support Erik and make him successful’: Steve McClaren says Man United boss Ten Hag will bring a ‘new beginning’ to Old Trafford, hails his work ethic and admits working with the Dutchman is ‘exciting’
- Erik ten Hag officially began work as Manchester United’s new boss on Monday
- Ten Hag has hired Steve McClaren as his assistant manager at the Red Devils
- McClaren can’t wait to begin work overhauling United alongside Ten Hag
Steve McClaren has opened up about working alongside Erik ten Hag again, with Manchester United‘s new No 2 relishing the opportunity and new dawn under the Red Devils boss.
Ten Hag officially began work in the Old Trafford hotseat on Monday as he looks to overhaul the club following an abysmal season by their standards.
McClaren will be part of that hopeful revolution, having been brought in as the Dutchman’s No 2 – seeing the pair reunited following a season spent together at Dutch outfit Twente in 2008-09.
Steve McClaren (right) is relishing the prospect of working with Erik ten Hag (left) at Manchester United as his assistant manager following the latter’s managerial appointment
McClaren (right) will be Ten Hag’s right-hand man as they bid to return United back to the top
And speaking about the task ahead, McClaren could only speak glowingly about Ten Hag and his meticulous work ethic – stating that the latter got straight to planning a day after winning the Eredivise title with his former club Ajax.
‘We had the meetings the day after they celebrated the championship, and it was made official, and we got to work,’ McClaren said, speaking to his son Josh on their McClaren Performance podcast.
‘He came to London last week where I met him and Mitchell [van der Gaag – assistant manager too] and [football director] John Murtough, and together we spent five days, six days including yesterday with the press, and seven today.
‘The work ethic, the attention to detail has again just been exemplified in the last few days where he’s practically met every member of staff who he’s going to be working very closely with, and in detail has worked out the plan, what each person’s job is.
‘It’s like going back in time 10 years ago when I first met him, everything was mapped out and again that’s the case.’
Expanding further, the 60-year-old likened Ten Hag’s mindset to legendary United manager Sir Alex Ferguson – adding he just wants him to be successful.
‘[Working with Ten Hag] allowed me time to have a look the full extent of the job at Twente, it get me that time to focus, watch, listen, take in the job, and eventually find a little niche where as the manager of the team, I could make my impact.
‘I suppose the last seven days have epitomised that again, the attention to detail, all the planning, which he wants to get right. That’s from the day after he won the championship with Ajax, he’s on to the next, a little like Sir Alex Ferguson used to do.
‘We just want to support Erik and make him successful, because if he is, then the team is.’
Pre-season for United begins in June, with Ten Hag calling his players in early, and McClaren cannot wait to get started.
‘It’s not just exciting going back to Manchester United, it’s exciting working with Erik again. Mitchell, is a very, very good coach, and hopefully together with the [existing] staff – John Murtough has also been a fantastic help – we can begin in the middle of June, the players come back and it’s a new beginning.
‘Erik’s looking forward and I certainly am. It was great to catch up again over the last seven days and really bond again. Hopefully we make a great team off the field and hopefully produce one on the field.’
Now starting his second spell at Old Trafford, McClaren was iconic figure Ferguson’s assistant between 1999 and 2001. The now 60-year-old’s first campaign coincided with their iconic Treble-winning haul.
McClaren’s return to United sees him reunited with Ten Hag. The pair know each other well with Ten Hag having been McClaren’s assistant for the 2008-09 season at Dutch outfit Twente.
It was McClaren’s first campaign within Dutch football and the now role reversal at United sees Ten Hag’s first foray within the English game.
McClaren and Ten Hag worked successfully together during that sole season, with Twente finishing second in the Eredivisie. Ten Hag left that summer and McClaren steered the Dutch side to their only top-flight title that following term.
Ten Hag was McClaren’s assistant manager at Dutch outfit Twente during the 2008-09 season
McClaren was Sir Alex Ferguson’s (third left) No 2 at United for three years between 1999- 01