Erik ten Hag had built something special at Ajax, winning three league titles with the club as well as other domestic trophies, but made the bold decision to leave the comfort of Holland to take on the Manchester United job when the club were in a dreadful period.
In his press conference, following United’s 2-0 win over Newcastle in the League Cup, Ten Hag spoke of his reasons behind moving to Old Trafford.
Maybe it was a risk but I’m a little bit stubborn! And I just love United. When I see our shirts, when I see our bond with the fans, when I see Old Trafford, when I see [a] legacy like Sir Alex left. So many big players were developed in United teams and it makes a big impression – we want to do the same. This team wants to make its own history, its own legacy. When this opportunity came, I thought this is the right club for me, I want to be a part of it.
Ten Hag acknowledged that obviously the players would be celebrating this trophy but that they won’t lose focus on the games ahead, with our intense fixture schedule not letting up. United face West Ham on Wednesday night and the manager hopes success in the League Cup will further motivate his players for more success.
You have to celebrate, because it’s not business as usual, it’s not a common day, we won a trophy. And this trophy means something, that’s the feeling I get here in the UK. We have won something, we have to celebrate that but after that point, you have to keep going, because, on Wednesday, it’s another game and it’s a big game. In our perspective, every game is a big game.
You can’t win when you’re not 100 per cent, so we have to do everything to win this game. But this cup can be the inspiration to give even more, to be even more collective, to have even more togetherness, to put even more effort in to be even better, because we can’t be satisfied.