Ten Hag dines with and praises Ferguson ahead of Barca: ‘He wants to help’

Ten Hag dines with and praises Ferguson ahead of Barca: ‘He wants to help’
Erik ten Hag on the training field

NOS Football

When a Manchester United head coach receives the support of Sir Alex Ferguson, that coach is doing something right. Erik ten Hag and Ferguson were spotted in a restaurant on Tuesday night. At a dinner for two.

Just exchanging some knowledge before Ten Hag hosts Barcelona with Manchester United in the Europa League on Thursday night. “Impressive,” the Dutch former Ajax coach called the Scot’s knowledge.

“I always like to talk to people who have a lot of knowledge and experience,” Ten Hag said at the closing press conference. “Ferguson actually has everything a good trainer needs. And he is willing to share that with me. He wants to help, to support. You can tell from everything that Manchester United is his club. He’s committed and grants us all the success.”

Twenty years as head coach

Ferguson spent over twenty years in the dugout as United’s head coach, leading the club to great fame. And his club’s upcoming opponent, ‘Fergie’ knows all too well. In 2009 and 2011, United lost the Champions League final to Barcelona.

Again, it will be all-or-nothing for Manchester, after last week’s 2-2 draw in Catalonia. “We only have a chance to advance if we are absolutely at our best. Nothing can go wrong…,” Ten Hag estimated.

Ten Hag does have the battle plan ready. And it is slightly different from last week. “What we are going to do differently, you will see tomorrow on the pitch. We want to win prizes. It’s not about the compliments we get for our play. We have to keep remembering that we want to improve ourselves every day.”

Sunday League Cup final

Taking prizes, then, and Manchester United can still do so in four competitions. The Europa League, the English league – although United is currently third to five points from leaders Arsenal – and the FA Cup.

Antony (center) back on the training field

Next Sunday United can win their first top prize: at Wembley they will meet Newcastle United in the League Cup final. “Against Newcastle we can indeed win a prize,” Ten Hag continued.

“And against Barcelona not yet. Of course it’s about winning prizes, but for now our focus is on the next game. And that is against Barcelona. After that, we’ll look further. We live from game to game with the goal of always playing just a little bit better soccer than in the previous game.”

Kayleigh Williams