Erik ten Hag.

Ten Hag believes Reds are ready for kick-off

Sunday 31 July 2022 18:57

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag was satisfied with the level of performance against Rayo Vallecano but accepts more improvements must be made ahead of the Premier League opener with Brighton & Hove Albion.

The boss enjoyed a first taste of a home game at Old Trafford and felt young forward Alejandro Garnacho was one of those who took the opportunity to impress. There was also the chance to bed Lisandro Martinez in, as the Argentinian centre-back made his maiden appearance since linking up with Erik again after a successful stay at Ajax.

Yet Ten Hag has stressed the result will be all important next weekend and he believes his team is ready for the challenge that will be posed by the Seagulls.

Ten Hag reacts to home debut Video

Ten Hag reacts to home debut

Erik ten Hag talks about Garnacho, Martinez, the fans at Old Trafford and more, after our final pre-season game...

When asked about the pre-season campaign in general, the manager said he was pleased with the period.

"Overall, definitely," he said. "I think we [have had] a good pre-season. We make good progress. We are ready for the season. I know there is still room for improvement. We have to improve and that is also a process that continues during the season. But, for next week, it's about the result as well.

"It was a mixture between experience and youth [today]. Some guys, they need to see today, for the first time, what you can expect. You saw the attitude was really great, really the intention to co-operate. They fight and work for each other. That was positive.

"We create also a lot of chances and also conceded some chances. Overall, we have to be satisfied with this performance."

Garnacho was one member of the youth brigade who lit up proceedings with some positive dribbles down the flanks, clearly exciting the crowd.

"What you want is also a young player who deserves a chance," explained Ten Hag.

"We want to give them that chance and he shows himself during pre-season [training] and that is why he came on [started]. He played pretty well and that's hopeful. He is just a teenager but his performance was really good."

In terms of Martinez, the Argentina international looks to have all the ingredients to be capable of becoming a fans' favourite at Old Trafford.

"No surprise," added Ten Hag. "I think it was a really good combination with Rapha [Varane] and they played really solid. That was good to see. Always the question is how do you integrate and I think he can integrate quite well into the team."

United 1 Rayo Vallecano 1


The spoils were shared as the Reds ended pre-season with a draw at home to Rayo Vallecano.

The supporters gave their backing to the boss, who appreciated the ovation he received from the United faithful.

"Fantastic," he smiled. "You see and you feel the vibe in the stadium, the vibe they want to send to the team. There has to be co-operation between fans and the team. We get the right emotion on the pitch and the right results especially."