Steve McClaren has admitted it’s been a “mad” start to Erik ten Hag’s reign as Manchester United manager, with the Dutchman tasked with picking up the pieces from a terrible season at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils slumped to their lowest-ever Premier League points total during 2021/22, finishing a lowly sixth in the table on just 58 points to miss out on Champions League qualification.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked as United’s manager in November and his replacement, Ralf Rangnick, fared little better after taking over as interim boss.
Rangnick has now parted ways with United having originally been slated to take a consultancy position for two years, while Ten Hag, who was appointed after a lengthy recruitment process, has been slotting in members of his backroom staff – McClaren and Mitchell van der Gaag, his former assistant at Ajax, are among his first appointments.
Speaking on the McClaren Performance podcast, the former revealed just how hard Ten Hag has been working since taking charge – detailing how diligent he has been in every area since he arrived at United from Ajax earlier than anticipated.
“It’s been a busy week, settled down after a mad week with Erik getting everything planned for the new season,” McClaren admitted.
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“Erik finished his last game [at Ajax], came to London where I met him and Mitchell [van der Gaag] and John Murtough and together we spent five or six days including [Monday] with the press. So we have spent the last week working.
“The work ethic and the attention to detail has just been exemplified in the last seven days where he’s practically met every member of staff who he is going to work very closely with and in detail has worked out the plan – what each person’s job is.
“It’s not just exciting going back to Manchester United, it’s exciting working with Erik again. And after a week with Mitchell, a very, very good coach, and hopefully together, along with the staff and John Murtough also has been a fantastic help in the process, we can begin middle of June when players come back.
“It’s a new beginning. I know Erik is looking forward to it and I certainly am. It was great to catch up with him over the last seven days and bond again and hopefully make a great team off the field that will, ultimately, produce one on the field.”
United have this week confirmed the departures of Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata, with other widespread changes – both in and out – expected in the coming weeks.