Manchester United coach confident Erik ten Hag will uphold famous club tradition


    Manager Erik ten Hag of Manchester United
    Erik ten Hag watched Manchester United’s U21s on Friday night (Picture: Getty Images)

    Manchester United Under-21s manager Mark Dempsey is confident Erik ten Hag will stay true to the historic club policy of bringing through players from the academy.

    Ten Hag, who was appointed as Red Devils boss earlier this year, has showed promising signs in his first season as manager.

    After a poor start to the campaign, losing their opening two matches, the Dutchman has led United to four wins on the spin in the Premier League.

    Ten Hag had plenty of faith in Ajax’s famed academy during his time at the Eredivisie club and he managed to take his side all the way to the Champions League semi-finals in 2019.

    The 52-year-old looks set to carry on the tradition upheld by the iconic former managers of the club, as he was in attendance for the Under-21s’ draw with West Ham on Friday night.

    Under-21s boss Dempsey revealed Ten Hag has shown a keen interest in the academy already.

    ‘It shows he is interested and it’s motivational for the boys and the supporters,’ Dempsey told The Athletic.

    Manchester United U21s
    United’s U21s were held to a draw by West Ham (Picture: Getty Images)

    ‘I think it’s really encouraging for all concerned that he is here with his staff. It sends a positive vibe.

    ‘I think one or two of our players went under if I’m honest, but it’s good for him to come and see us and it’s healthy for everyone at the football club.’

    ‘He showed a vested interest in what we are doing and it’s fabulous for us that he does because at a lot of football clubs, the academy is the academy and the first team is the first team,’ Dempsey added.

    On who could be close to making the step up to the first team, Dempsey said: ‘The manager will decide and he will have a look at them and make his mind up. It’s a big jump from this level and we have a young group so it’s an even bigger jump. But you never know.

    ‘If they are good enough, I’m sure he will put them in because he has done it before at Ajax. They are not frightened to put young players in.’

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