'Raise the bar' - Erik ten Hag makes Man United claim after Dan Ashworth appointment and Ineos vow

Sir Jim Ratcliffe pictured congratulating Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag
-Credit: (Image: Marc Atkins/Getty Images)


Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag believes the new football structure at Old Trafford can help raise the bar at the club as he plots an assault on the Premier League title.

Ten Hag survived an end-of-season review by Ineos to keep hold of his job heading into a third season, but the football department around him at the club has changed significantly.

Sporting director Dan Ashworth started his role at the start of last week, while technical director Jason Wilcox has been in situ since April. Christopher Vivell has also started in a recruitment role and Omar Berrada begins as chief executive on Saturday.

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Ten Hag is looking forward to working within the new structure at United and is confident it can help drive success to Old Trafford, having laid the groundwork in his first two years at the club.

"We are working on this. That is fact," Ten Hag said when asked what needed to improve.

"United didn't win in over six years a trophy. Now we won two. But we are up for more, for higher titles, like the English title and then even more, going into Europe but that's a process, that takes time, we are working on it, but I know with the set-up from the club, with the changes in structure, with the changes in infrastructure around here in Carrington we will be ready for the future and we will improve, you feel it here, it gives new energy, it gives a new dynamic and it will help us achieve our targets. We want to win every game, we have seen, we are capable of beating everyone."

Ashworth will oversee football operations across the first team, women's team and academy at United, while Wilcox will lead on first-team recruitment and drawing up a 'game model' for how every team under the club's umbrella should play.

Those appointments are part of a raft of changes implemented by Sir Jim Ratcliffe since Ineos' £1.25bn investment was confirmed in February and Ten Hag believes it will help to raise standards at a club that has gone 11 years without winning the title

"We are so pleased. Around the football, around that first team, that we have a strong structure that will help us," he said. "They are really supportive, that will help us in many ways, like scouting and recruitment, like departments of medical and performance, they are so supportive they will raise the bar."

United took the one-year option on Ten Hag's contract to extend his Old Trafford stay until 2026 and the Dutchman said he wouldn't have committed for the future if he wasn't now confident of success.

"Very [confident]. Otherwise I wouldn't extend my contract," he said. "I am here now for two years. I said I came here to win titles, trophies.

"We won two trophies after a dry [run] of six years, we are in a good direction, now with the new ownership come in, they can help us, they are very supportive , we make our process and and that's what we constructed across the summer. We are in a very good position, in a very strong position to go into attack."

Winning the FA Cup final at the end of last season helped Ten Hag avoid the sack and he wants that Wembley performance against Manchester City to act as a barometer for every game now.

"The standards we showed there, togetherness, spirit, belief, resilience, determination, all those standards we need," he said.

"When we bring this on a daily basis to Carrington, when we make this a way of life and go into every game with those standards we have a good chance to be successful."