Erik ten Hag

Ten Hag to support young Reds

Tuesday 25 July 2023 01:30

Erik ten Hag will be in attendance at Manchester United's upcoming friendly against Wrexham at the Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego.

A youth-focused Reds side will take on the League Two outfit - who are, of course, owned by Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney - at 03:30 BST on Wednesday.

Under-21s lead Travis Binnion will manage the team, but he will be supported by Ten Hag as the players not involved fly to Houston to prepare for the Real Madrid game.

The Reds face Los Blancos at the NRG Stadium in the Texan city at 01:30 BST on Thursday.

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“We’ve been planning this over months, so we’ve known already for a long time how it has to look,” Ten Hag told journalists at the club's University of California San Diego training base.

“One team will stay behind here, I will stay here as well, but also we bring a coach and a technical director, Darren Fletcher in. We bring some more in, also an analyst, some kit men stay behind to help the team, the Under-21s. Travis is the one who is in charge in the team. I will help him and support him.

“Of course, Under-21s is always a part of the first squad, it’s always under my supervision.

“I don’t want to have a red line in our club. That means we want to have the principles and the rules, it has to go down to the bottom, how we want to play.

“We want to educate, to teach players in the United way, so it’s easier to flow into the first-team squad. This is why this trip is very useful for us. So there will also be a team which will fly out tomorrow afternoon and prepare that game against Real Madrid.

“Of course I go [to Houston], but after this game has finished, I’ll fly over.”

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The global exposure, with Wrexham centre of attention in the States due to their Disney+ documentary, will also aid the youngsters' development, Ten Hag believes, as he plans to add in a few players who have already been out with the main Tour squad.

“I didn't watch the Wrexham documentary, but I know them. We played them last year [in a behind-closed-doors friendly]. I know they got promoted,” he added.

“We will get the 21s in but we will strengthen the 21s with some players who are in the tour with the first-team squad.

“It's a very good game because I just mentioned the Academy players, so it's a great experience for them and it will help them and will support them to flow into the first team, so in that respect, it's a huge game.

“So really good opposition. It's in the USA, so they have to travel for it. It's very good for their education. So they have to deal with the pressure.

“The stadium is sold out with a fantastic ambience. The players were really looking forward to it. The game is broadcast, so it's a fantastic experience for the young players and that we can present this to our young players. So I'm really happy that we can do that.”

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Jonny Evans is also set to play in the match, as the centre-back continues with his short-term deal at the club.

The 35-year-old signed on last week and was involved in the 1-0 victory over Lyon in Edinburgh and his experience should come in valuable in California's second-biggest city.

“I think he helped us, as you said, [with] younger players, but also for numbers here. Not all the internationals were in and we had to manage the load from the players so that was really useful.

“Jonny wants to stay fit, he still wants a career. Last week I think he played a very good game against Lyon and you could see how he was mentoring the younger players and I think he was pushing the younger players to a higher level and that can be really helpful.

“So I'm happy we bring him in. He will be tomorrow in that game. So I'm happy he wants to do that and I think we help him as well.”