Ten Hag aligned with INEOS on ambitions

Friday 23 February 2024 15:59

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says the ambitions of Sir Jim Ratcliffe are completely aligned with his, and the ones that he had when he first arrived last season.

INEOS chairman Ratcliffe’s investment in the club was made official this week, before the British billionaire spoke publicly for the first time since being confirmed as a co-owner, to MUTV and external media outlets.

Behind the scenes, Ten Hag says he has continued positive dialogue with Sir Jim and Sir Dave Brailsford, who is overseeing INEOS’s leadership of football activities at the club, about United’s present and future. 

Part one: Press conference v Fulham Video

Part one: Press conference v Fulham

Press conference part one | Questions focused on Rasmus Hojlund's injury, Sir Jim Ratcliffe's investment and Fulham...

“We speak a lot and I have had many conversations with him and Dave Brailsford about this club and about the team and structures,” Ten Hag said to reporters, in the first part of his pre-match press conference before Saturday’s game against Fulham.

“We are very aligned, and I am behind their ambitions. I think it totally fits with the ambitions I have and with the ones I had when I came in. We are in that project and for me I am now 18/19 months in, and I see we are going in the right direction. 

“Yes, we have had setbacks in the second season, but you can see the team coming. You see the squad progressing and developing. 

“We need to keep going with that process, work hard on the training pitch and work hard during games. Of course, it is very important to have the players fit but also to construct a squad which is robust. 

“I'm sure we will be very strong and will be even stronger when we add to this squad, even more quality." 

Ten Hag went on to acknowledge the importance of continued evolution off the pitch for United too, in response to a question asked later in part one of his media briefing.

Earlier in the week, Ratcliffe spoke to MUTV about what has been important to building a winning culture at INEOS, his chemicals company, and therefore our new co-owner will no doubt also share Erik’s sentiments about the environment around his playing squad.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe | The Interview Video

Sir Jim Ratcliffe | The Interview

Another chance to watch our unmissable Sir Jim Ratcliffe Q&A from February, exploring his plans on and off the pitch…

“I discussed we always have to improve, and we always have to do better. We have to think that better structures can help us for the future, we have to do this,” Ten Hag added, later in his media briefing.

“This is also clear with our competitors because they never sleep, they are always improving. So, you always have to think about improvements. 

“Last year we were third in the league, and we had two finals, so if we can improve, then we are not too far away. 

“In the last few games, you have seen what this team is capable of, especially the potential, it is very good in this team."