ERIK TEN HAG has given a damning assessment of the Manchester United squad he inherited in the summer, and revealed what he needed to change.
And while it has not been all smooth sailing since his arrival, there is certainly evidence that the team and club are moving in the right direction.
But the Dutchman has now detailed just how big the task getting the squad up to scratch was.
He said: “There was no spirit in it (the dressing room), I didn’t see any team dynamics in the team.
“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.”
He also revealed the one player who has made all the difference is helping to reset the culture.
“To get that (change of culture) in the dressing room, you need personalities.
Most read in Football
“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.”
United are returning to action for the first time since the World Cup finished tonight against Burnley, though a number of first team stars will be missing.
And with the World Cup disrupting the season at a point where United were just settling into the way Ten Hag wants to play, he fears they could be negatively impacted by the break.
Speaking ahead of the Burnley clash, Ten Hag said: “You saw in this World Cup many nations played passively, waiting and playing on the reaction.
“We have seen against Manchester City, that was our big problem in that game.
“We want to be dominant and proactive, but we played in a different way.
“We are moving in a good direction, but still there is a lot of room for improvement.
“It means keeping high standards. I always say, satisfaction makes you lazy.
“If you are too satisfied with yourself and the team, you will not maintain those standards.”
Following a huge spending spree in the summer, United are set to make a move for Dutch World Cup ace Cody Gakpo.
The 23-year-old has been tipped for a £50million move to Old Trafford with PSV boss Ruud van Nistelrooy admitting “there comes a time when you can’t say no.”