“Determination” and “resilience” are two key words for Erik ten Hag as Manchester United’s season nears decisive end

Erik ten Hag, Manchester United (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Erik ten Hag, Manchester United (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images) /

Manchester United’s first season under Erik ten Hag is worlds apart from what the fans expected to happen in August last year. After the debacle of the 2021-22 season, under Ralf Rangnick, the United faithful would have only hoped for a top-four finish in the league. However, with the season progressing, the Red Devils have already won a trophy and are also vying for three more.

It has to be established that in the work Erik ten Hag has done at Old Trafford, improving the morale and mentality of the squad needs to most highlighted. The profile of players brought into the club during the two transfer windows, combined with a disciplinarian attitude, has brought about mammoth changes at Old Trafford.

Whether it be a shift of culture, adhering to a ‘team comes first’ attitude, or a change in footballing strategy, the former Ajax manager has done wonders. Following the catastrophic 7-0 loss to Liverpool one week ago, United’s season ran the risk of going off the rails. However, by naming an unchanged squad for the game against Real Betis, Erik ten Hag asked his players to prove a point.

The Dutchman was asked, during a press conference ahead of the English Premier League game against Southampton, what he thinks about his players’ character.

Erik ten Hag was quick to point out that as the season nears its end, his players will always need to step up to the challenge.

“I think [as] the season goes to the end, it’s going to be even more difficult for every team because the pressure will be higher and higher,” Ten Hag said. “So you need character, you need a determined team, you need a resilient team. You need a team with personalities, and I think we already showed several times this season that this team can deal with setbacks.”

However, two words in the point that the manager made stand out, showcasing what he is trying to build for the long-term future. Ten Hag stated that a “determined” and “resilient” team will be important to deal with setbacks.

The manager emphasizes that whether it be the loss against Brentford, Arsenal, or even the latest drubbing at the hands of Liverpool, Manchester United are a greater force when things work in tandem, and there’s cohesiveness within the squad. In trying to build a more determined and resilient squad, Ten Hag has aimed to inculcate an unprecedented focus on winning.

As the season nears the end, it remains to be seen how determined and resilient Manchester United can be under Erik ten Hag.