Erik ten Hag is “quite convinced” he will be successful at Manchester United as he attempts to bring the glory days back to Old Trafford.
Ten Hag has made the best start of any United manager after winning 21 of his 29 games in charge since joining from Ajax last summer and has overseen a 10-game unbeaten run in all competitions.
That impressive form has propelled United into the Premier League title race ahead of Sunday’s huge trip to leaders Arsenal – live on Sky Sports – and seen them progress in both domestic cups.
United have not won the Premier League since 2013 and last experienced silverware almost six years ago, but Ten Hag is confident that can change under his guidance.
“There are six or seven teams who can all win the Premier League because there are so many investments,” the Dutchman said.
“When you have the right philosophy and the right strategy, many more clubs can compete for the top positions. That’s a great challenge and if you want to be there, you have to be really good.
“You need consistency, you need a good strategy, consistency in the strategy, and you need hard work to compete there. If you want to win trophies, everything has to go in the right way.”
Asked if he believes United are on that path with him in charge, Ten Hag added: “Yes, I’m quite convinced of that process.
“I think we are in the right direction, but it also means that we have to improve a lot if you want to compete in the future for the top positions because the competition will be really tough.”
‘Accountability, transparency, and honesty’
Charged with overseeing a big rebuild at Old Trafford, Ten Hag’s meticulous work has been clear during his first season so far, while his firm but fair management style has also brought discipline to the club and earned the respect of his players.
“What I want to bring in is a culture of high standards and values,” he said.
“Accountability, transparency, and honesty – they are the values I want to set and I want to control. I think that is the way to operate internally but also externally, so for instance with the media and the fans.”
Ten Hag: Wan-Bissaka making good progress
One player whose future looked uncertain following Ten Hag’s arrival last year was Aaron Wan-Bissaka. The 25-year-old made just one appearance in the Premier League before Christmas but has started all five of United’s league games since the World Cup break finished.
United had been in the market for a right-back if Wan-Bissaka left during the January transfer window but the former Crystal Palace defender will now remain at Old Trafford after impressing Ten Hag in recent weeks.
“He’s picking up the coaching and he’s making good progress from the start of the season to now,” the United boss said.
“He was in a bad situation because he wasn’t fit. He had a lot of injuries, he had a couple of illnesses in the first half of the season before November, but things changed during the break.
“He worked well in the training camp and he had some good performances in the games. I think he’s making good progress and against Crystal Palace was one of our best players.”
Watch Arsenal vs Manchester United live on Sky Sports Premier League from 4pm on Super Sunday; kick-off 4.30pm.