Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has been putting his players through their paces in preparation for Thursday’s Europa League clash with Real Sociedad. The Red Devils go into the game hoping to take all three points and start their European season on a high note. Express Sport will now look at three things Ten Hag has asked his players to do in order for them to win five games in a row across all competitions.
Work in the gym
Ten Hag places a premium on fitness as he hopes his United squad can continue to play high-octane, creative football for many years to come.
Players were also seen running at Carrington as they prepare for their first European match of the season.
Cristiano Ronaldo was among those there, looking for his first start since a 4-0 defeat to Brentford last month.
New signee Antony, like other attackers such as Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford, took part in the fitness session.
United have been aggressive during their recent four-game winning streak, so it’s no wonder Ten Hag wants them to be as sharp as possible.
Work on dribbling
United players were also seen practicing their dribbling.
Ten Hag appeared to stage little pre-match contests, encouraging players to dribble with the ball and show courage in possession.
Ronaldo stood by as Diogo Dalot attempted to tackle Antony, who scored on his debut in Sunday’s 3-1 triumph over Arsenal.
Many of United’s fringe players will be trying to demonstrate to Ten Hag that they can fit into his system.
Casemiro, who has only played off the bench since signing from Real Madrid last month, is another player who will be expecting to be released from the start.
United enjoys a good rondo.
And, given Ten Hag’s desire for his club to become a possession-based one, it’s no surprise that the Red Devils are concentrating on ball retention.
Ten Hag was frustrated with his team’s failure to control the game, with the Gunners enjoying the majority of the possession during the match at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils can anticipate having more possession against Real Sociedad, especially because they are at home.
And Ten Hag is leaving no stone uncovered in his quest for a fifth consecutive victory.
Ten Hag makes his debut in the Europa League.
Ten Hag revealed he hoped to win the competition ahead of United’s encounter against Real Sociedad.
When asked if he’d rotate and if the Europa League was the ideal competition for him to do so, he replied: “We need to win every game and every tournament, so we must take everything seriously.
“It’s evident that we have a squad, not just a team.” However, we must win every game.
“That is the mindset that Manchester United requires.””
Ten Hag also confessed that he probably wouldn’t be able to keep every United player happy with his team selections.
“”I may not be able to keep them all happy every game, but everyone gets their game time if they play well,” he explained.
“But, as I’ve said before, we need everyone because we have a lot of games to cover.”
“There is a lot ahead of us, including national teams, the World Cup, and all of the cups in England.”
“The Europa League, into which we have now been admitted, and, of course, the Premier League.””
United previously won the Europa League under Jose Mourinho in 2017, before falling short in the final four years later under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.