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Taking Man Utd job not a risk – Ten Hag

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Erik ten Hag unveiled at Manchester United

Erik ten Hag says he is not risking his managerial reputation by taking the Manchester United job.

The Dutchman, 52, is United’s fifth permanent boss since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

“I don’t see it as a risk,” he said. “I think this club has a great history, and now let’s make a future.”

Ten Hag also suggested Cristiano Ronaldo would not be leaving, adding he expected there to be goals from the Portugal forward next season.

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The former Ajax boss was speaking to reporters at his official unveiling as United manager 24 hours after watching his new club lose 1-0 at Crystal Palace on the final day of the season.

Their points tally of 58, though good enough to secure sixth and a place in the Europa League, is their poorest return since 1989-1990 and comes just a year after they finished second behind Manchester City.

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Ten Hag did not say how many players he felt the club needed to bring in over the summer, instead answering that he was still “in the process of analysing” his squad.

“The plan is huge and we only have a short time,” he added.

“I’m looking forward to working with these players. The season before, this squad was second in the league, so there is huge potential. I think if we improve, if we work with them, I think we can get out more than what was the result from this season.”

Erik ten Hag won three Eredivisie titles in five seasons as Ajax boss before joining Manchester United

Erik ten Hag won three Eredivisie titles in five seasons as Ajax boss before joining Manchester United

Ten Hag also did not give any guarantees over Harry Maguire remaining as captain.

“Next season is a different season but he did a great job,” he said of the England international. “He’s a great player he achieved already a lot so I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Asked if 37-year-old Ronaldo, who finished as United’s top scorer with 24 goals, was part of his plans, he replied “of course”.

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Klopp-Guardiola era ‘can come to an end’

It is now nine years since Manchester United last lifted the Premier League, with the title race now dominated by Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, who have won the last five titles between them.

Ten Hag, though, is hopeful he can break their stranglehold on the trophy.

“In this moment I admire them both,” he said. “They play fantastic football but you will always see an era can come to an end.

“I look forward to a battle with them and I’m sure other clubs will want to do that.”

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The Dutchman also revealed he sought the advice of compatriot and former Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal, who had previously suggested Ten Hag should consider his options carefully before accepting the job.

Van Gaal, who won the FA Cup during his spell in charge at Old Trafford between 2014 and 2016, said Ten Hag needed to join a “a football club not a commercial club”.

“I have heard [Van Gaal’s comments] but I will draw my own line. I’m convinced it won’t be the case,” he said.

“I spoke with the directors about it. Football is one, two and three at this club and every club these days is commercial. Every club needs it, needs the revenues to be at the top, to do it is necessary but football is one, two, three at this club.”

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