Erik ten Hag and John Murtough.

Murtough explains Ten Hag appointment

Thursday 26 May 2022 11:00

John Murtough has revealed that Erik ten Hag was the “standout choice” among a strong field of candidates for the manager’s job at Manchester United.

The Dutchman set out a “long-term vision to build a successful, exciting team,” while in discussions about the role, Murtough recalled.

The football director said Ten Hag was the manager “most closely aligned with the identity and aims of Manchester United,” including a commitment to attacking football and developing young players.

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Part 2: Our big interview with Ten Hag

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“He showed passion, energy and enthusiasm for the challenge,” Murtough told a meeting of the club’s Fans’ Forum, which took place before this week’s unveiling of the Dutchman as manager.

Murtough said Ten Hag was a “proven winner” with his former club Ajax but stressed that fans must show patience as he sets about the challenge of building a successful team.

The update to fans came at the end of what Murtough acknowledged had been a disappointing season, and he promised that everyone at Carrington was determined to deliver “significant improvement” in the forthcoming 2022/23 campaign.

Murtough, who led the search for the new manager, said the early appointment of 52-year-old had provided “clarity and confidence” for next season and beyond.

He went on to tell the fan representatives about a series of “hidden changes” under way at Carrington to strengthen support for the players and staff as they work to deliver success.

Some of these involve the scouting and recruitment department, where Murtough has been strengthening structures and processes.

The club’s ability to use data in areas such as match preparation and recruitment has also been improved by the recent appointment of the club’s first director of data science.

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Part 1: Ten Hag’s first interview as boss

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Meanwhile, planning is under way for a major redevelopment of the club’s training facilities to ensure they remain world-class.

“It’s all about making sure we are creating the right environment and culture in which players can perform to their maximum potential,” Murtough told the fan representatives.