Manchester United

Erik ten Hag insists he instilled 'winning mentality' at Ajax

Sean Walsh
Ten Hag has won five trophies with Ajax
Ten Hag has won five trophies with Ajax / Soccrates Images/GettyImages
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Incoming Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has insisted he helped instil a 'winning mentality' at Ajax and is confident he can tackle a dressing room full of superstar names.

The 52-year-old was confirmed as the man to succeed Ralf Rangnick in the Old Trafford dugout on Thursday, signing a three-year contract with the option of a fourth.

One of the problems Ten Hag will need to solve is a disjointed dressing room that has been divided this season.

Speaking to Dutch outlet Trouw, the Ajax boss revealed his belief that he can cope with the big names in United's squad.

"I think I can, but I will stay myself in that. I won't change my vision. I will tell them their task and whoever does not meet those tasks will hear that from me, no matter who it is," he said.

90min revealed on Friday that both Man Utd and Ten Hag accept they will not be able to solve all of the issues facing them in one summer transfer window, and the Dutchman explained that he was keen on getting a big say in recruitment.

"I make demands in advance before I arrive. If the club doesn't grant them I won't take the job. I am the one responsible, I am the one who will get judged by results. I don't want to be a ruler, I will work together, but having a say in transfers is a condition for me," he added.


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Ten Hag also reflected on his time at Ajax since taking over in 2017, and pointed to rival PSV Eindhoven's celebrations following their KNVB Cup triumph over the Amsterdam club as a sign of their progress.

"I think that with me in charge...I made Ajax play the Ajax way. With always the intention to play great, and to play good. With adventure and beauty. There is a bigger winning mentality here now," he said.

When pushed to say if Ajax lacked a winning mentality before he arrived, Ten Hag replied: "I think so.

"The fact that PSV was so hungry to win the cup final was logical, they didn't win a trophy for a long time. I worked at PSV and the cup final didn't get any attention there for years. Now all of a sudden it's a big trophy, that's how they celebrated it too.

"I think that's the biggest compliment that we could have got. It shows that the trophies the last couple of years were mostly for Ajax."

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