What Man Utd players have said about Ten Hag’s training – ‘Intense’

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag during training at the Rajamangala National Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand - July 11, 2022.

Despite only being at the start of his Manchester United tenure, Erik ten Hag has already made a big impression on his players. 

Ten Hag is making the players work hard in training and has also overseen two pre-season friendlies as United beat Liverpool 4-0 and then recorded a 4-1 win over Melbourne Victory.

We’ve taken a look at what the United players have said about his training sessions and coaching style.

David de Gea

– “The manager knows 100 per cent what he wants,” De Gea told club media. “He knows the way he wants to play.

“He’s giving a lot of information to the team, trying to give the details and have some rules inside and outside the pitch, I think this is what we need and also to know what we have to do on the pitch and play as a team.”

– “I think the whole team is working very hard,” he added. “They are very intense sessions with the manager, he knows very clearly what he wants for the team and there is a lot of information at the beginning, as I said, but with the time here [on tour] we are getting the right messages so I think it’s great.

“It’s very intense training and everyone is focused on football and I feel that I have seen great, great things.”

Tom Heaton

“The new manager’s come in and he’s been brilliant to be fair,” Heaton told United View.

“He’s been really good; new structure, new ideas, new intensity; he’s got a really clear idea of what he wants to do with it, and the boys have taken to it.

“They’ve had to up their tempo physically, they’ve got a much more structured idea of how they want to play, and he’s made it tough. We’re all in it together, and it has been brilliant so far.”

Victor Lindelof

– “It’s been great, obviously a lot of hard work and a lot of tough sessions. But that’s how it should be during a pre-season to get the fitness levels up,” Lindelof recently told Sky Sports.

“Training sessions have been really good, [Ten Hag] demands a lot from us and expects us to perform at a high level. It’s been great.

“We want to play good football – want to have the ball and attack as well. We’ve been working a lot on different things during training sessions

“Obviously he knows how he wants to play with the ball and without the ball, so of course we’ve been working on a lot of different things during these two weeks.”

– “It has been absolutely fantastic under the new boss since he came,” he told the Daly Mail. “The level of the training has really stepped up. I think he is very good at paying attention to the details – his demands and what he expects from us.

“If something is not right in an exercise he can stop and explain it again for us and that’s a very good thing for us.

“The first week was a little bit different from this week. This week has been a bit more intense with different types of runs and in games. I don’t mind it, it should be like that. He’s demanding a lot, but it should be like that at a club like this.”

Harry Maguire

“It’s been tough. The running has been hard but we’re really looking forward to the season,” Maguire said. “Erik and his coaching staff are bringing their ideas, and the first two games you’ve seen little glimpses of the principles.

“We’re working towards being ready for that first Premier League game, that’s what matters. Everything we’re doing now is building for that first game.”

Raphael Varane

“We know exactly how we want to play,” Varane told Sky Sports. “The manager explained very well what we have to do and it’s absolutely clear. So we know we have to be very fit because it’s a very physical way to play.”

Luke Shaw

– “It’s clear that he’s a top, top manager. He has a structure to play the way he wants us to play,” Shaw said. “We haven’t had that for quite a while, and it was clear to see last season, which was extremely disappointing.

“We have to bounce back [from last season] and he has been working us extremely hard, but I think we need it.”

– “I think he obviously knows what the team needs and he has his own style of how he wants to manage, but I think all of the players have taken it on board and are really enjoying it,” Shaw told MUTV.

“He is very hands-on and takes a lot of the sessions; he is involved a lot. You have seen that if people are not hitting the standards that he wants in training he will make sure they know and I think that is good because it keeps the standards high.

“That is a good thing. But, like I have said, there is still a lot more to come from us and this is only the start.”


– “It’s really important for us to have a strong coach who has the last word alongside us,” Fred said. “It gives us security and helps us a lot.

“He’s very detailed in his work, he has his own fine details. All the day-to-day details. It’s really good for our daily work. Everyone on the pitch has to give their all to help the team.”

– “We really hope he can do a great job here and are fully behind him,” he added. “We’re looking to achieve a lot, great things, and I’m sure we’ll achieve this.

“He’s a great coach. Training is good, intense. We’re aiming to put what he says into our daily training. I hope we can win things in the future.”

Fred for Manchester United during the Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich. Saturday December 11, 2021.

Watch: Man Utd’s Fred scores filthy lob v Liverpool in pre-season friendly

Scott McTominay

– “Everyone’s so, so happy with the new coach in terms of the detail and attention to the work that we’re doing, and everyone’s so fit now,” he told MUTV. “And we can get fitter, I can get fitter, the whole team can, which is obviously a benefit for the future as well.”

– “We have had some tough pre-seasons but this has been up there with the most difficult ones,” McTominay said. “It is an accumulation. It is getting miles into the legs and getting people accustomed to the work we want to do.

“There are a lot of different ideas and variations. He [Ten Hag] is very clear in meetings about what he wants us to do and how he wants to approach the games. It is important we take that message on board.”

Donny van de Beek

“I worked three years with him altogether, so now it’s a few years ago but I see a lot of things we did in Ajax as well, I like training stuff,” he told United’s official website. “So, yeah, I know a lot already.”

Zidane Iqbal

“The manager is amazing,” he told the Stretford Paddock YouTube channel. “Giving us different tactics off the ball, on the ball.

“He’s got an idea. It’s early doors obviously, I think we’re in the third week of pre-season, but we kind of have an idea of what we need to do.”

Manchester United's Zidane Iqbal during training, Rajamangala National Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand - July 11, 2022

Watch: Man Utd’s Zidane Iqbal pulls off insane Maradona turn in friendly

Bruno Fernandes

“It’s been pretty intense,” Fernandes said. “He [Ten Hag] likes intense training, reactions when you lose the ball. He likes everyone to run. He’s been really good.

“Everyone is enjoying [it], obviously. Everyone gets really tired at the end of the training but that’s what we have to do.”

Fernandes added: “We have to be like that at the end of the training, but then you know the training was really good. As I said, we have to do the hard work because, if we do it now, then we will be fit for the beginning of the season.”

Marcus Rashford

– “I think for me, it is just fresh ideas, fresh tactics and a new personality that has been added to the team,” Rasford told MUTV. “I am looking forward to working with him [Ten Hag].

“It has been tough, but we have all enjoyed the training sessions and we are mixing it up as well. We are not just doing all football and all running, we are doing a little bit of both so it’s fun and it’s good signs looking forward.

“He is very detailed out on the grass and even in the rules of each game. Like I said, it is all fresh and when something is fresh it is good for the mind and good for the body, so we are all looking forward to working with him and hopefully we continue to improve.”

– “I think the first two, two-and-a-half weeks of training have been good; we have improved a lot and we are a lot fitter than we were last season,” he said. “I know we are still making mistakes along the way but we have a lot of room for improvement.”

Anthony Elanga

“The new manager has come in so we need to buy into his details and this new philosophy of playing and his managerial style, so yeah we are all really buying into it. We are taking it session by session and it’s been really good,” Elanga said.

“It’s not just him, it’s Mitch [van der Gaag] and Steve [McClaren] as well.

“And they are all trying to help us as a team, not just as individuals, going into details, like the way we play out from the back and how we play in the final third as well because it’s all information that we have to soak in and I think that so far we are doing really well with it.

“Since the start he’s just brought good energy and the team has bought into it. We’ve all been enjoying every single game, the sessions, It’s all about taking it step by step. We are all really looking forward to the season but we’ve got pre-season first.”

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