Erik ten Hag backed to take Man Utd back into Champions League in first season

Five players whose Man Utd careers ten Hag can revive

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Erik ten Hag has been backed to take Manchester United back into the Champions League during his first season at Old Trafford. The 52-year-old arrived in the north west at the end of last season after Red Devils chiefs appointed him as their new boss earlier this year.

United endured a miserable campaign last time around as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick both struggled to solve the Red Devils’ issues. And the team ultimately finished sixth in the Premier League after failing to make the latter stages of the Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

Ten Hag faces a battle to restore United to their former glory. But Express Sport readers think he will at least help his side improve on last season after we asked for their thoughts in a poll.

Over half of the 38,809 football fans who voted are expecting big things from Ten Hag, with 15.2 per cent of people tipping United to challenge for the title and 46.3 per cent of them confident the team will land a top-four finish.

Meanwhile, 24.4 per cent of readers think the Red Devils will only be good enough to secure Europa League qualification courtesy of a top-six finish, while 6.2 per cent of respondents think United will be condemned to a seventh-place finish and a spot in the Europa Conference League. And, incredibly, 7.9 per cent of people who voted think the side will finish eighth or lower.

United were once regarded as the best team in England as they racked up a remarkable 13 Premier League titles under legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson. But they have suffered a precipitous downturn in fortunes since the Scot retired in 2013.

Since Fergie quit, United have only secured a top-four Premier League finish four times as they have missed out on Champions League qualification on five occasions. And Ten Hag knows he must guide his side back into the Champions League at the first time of asking for his maiden season at the club to be deemed a success.

“First of all, Man United belong in the Champions League, so that will be the first target,” Ten Hag said in his first interview after arriving at Old Trafford. “I’m happy that I am here and I will give my best and I hope and I expect that I can make them proud again, that we restore Man United where they belong. I will give my best and I will take the decisions necessary to get there.”

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