Ten Hag relishing Man Utd challenge, sees Ronaldo in club's future
New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says he sees big potential for the club and that Cristiano Ronaldo's goals will help them find success on the pitch.
New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says that Cristiano Ronaldo is part of his plans for the club, ending speculation over the Portuguese forward's future.
Ten Hag was unveiled as United boss on Monday (May 23) and while he avoided making grandiose promises, the Dutchman was clear when asked at this first news conference if Ronaldo was in his plans.
"Of course," he said before being pressed on what he thought the 37-year-old could bring to his team? "Goals".
Ronaldo scored 24 goals in the Premier League and Champions League this season after returning to United from Italian club Juventus but has been criticised by interim manager Ralf Rangnick over his lack of contribution to pressing of opponents.
With Ten Hag taking charge and bringing in former England manager Steve McClaren and ex-Ajax Amsterdam assistant Mitchell van der Gaag as part of his coaching team, Rangnick will be restricted to a consultant role.
In an interview with the club's MUTV channel, Ten Hag said the players would have to come together and co-operate if the team are to challenge for top honours.
The disappointing season has been accompanied by widespread reports of divisions within the club and the team and a difficult relationship between some players and German Rangnick.
United will play in the Europa League next season and face the challenge of trying to catch up with local rivals Manchester City who won the title, finishing 35 points above United.
Ten Hag says he admires both clubs but said eras always come to an end.
"In this moment, I admire them (Liverpool and Manchester City), them both -- that they play, at this moment, really fantastic football -- both Liverpool and Man City. But you will always see that an era can come to an end. And I'm looking forward to battle with them and I'm sure all the others in the Premier League, all the clubs, will want to do that," he said.
"The reason is, although it is clearly a fantastic history -- but the reason is that there's a high potential for the future. That's why I'm here," Ten Hag added.