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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has echoed the concerns Cristiano Ronaldo aired about the mentality of the Red Devils’ dressing room. Ten Hag has revealed that he found a team lacking ‘spirit’ and ‘dynamics’ when he joined the Premier League club from Ajax in the summer.
The Dutchman inherited a United team that had just finished sixth in the top-flight and has struggled for form under interim head coach Ralf Rangnick. He was shocked by the poor mentality of the squad.
“There was no spirit in it (the dressing room), I didn’t see any team dynamics in the team,” Ten Hag has told Dutch broadcaster Voetbal International.
“The mental toughness was very low. The fighting spirit, for each other, prioritising the team, that wasn’t really in this squad. Changing the culture was the most important thing for me.”
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He explained that the summer signing of five-times Champions League winner Casemiro from Real Madrid was important in improving the mentality of his squad, adding: “To get that (change of culture) in the dressing room, you need personalities.
“That’s why the purchase of Casemiro was so important. He can speed up the process, because he knows what you have to do to win titles.”
Ten Hag’s views on the United dressing room he first walked into marry with what axed former United striker Ronaldo told Piers Morgan in his tell-all interview. Ronaldo scathed about the fact that the Old Trafford outfit had not moved on in the 12 years after his initial departure to Real Madrid in 2009.
Ronaldo slammed the mentality of the club and said the English giants could no longer be compared to the biggest clubs in Europe. “At United, the progress was zero, in my opinion,” the 37-year-old, whose contract was terminated following the interview, told Morgan.
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“To compare with Real Madrid and even Juventus, that they follow the rest of the world, so the technology, especially in terms of training, nutrition and conditioning, eat properly and to recover better than before – surprised me.
“Manchester right now to compare with that club, I think it’s behind in my opinion, which is something that surprised me. A club with this dimension should be the top of the tree in my opinion and they are not, unfortunately. They are not in that level. But I hope the next years they can reach to be in a top level.
“I don’t know what’s going on but since Sir Alex Ferguson left I saw no evolution in the club, the progress was zero.”
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