Ten Hag took charge of Ajax for the first time after being named Manchester United’s new manager.
Erik ten Hag refused to comment on Manchester United’s latest defeat, insisting that his priority this season is Ajax.
The 52-year-old took charge of his current team for the first time since being named United’s new manager. Ten Hag led his squad to a 1-0 victory over NEC Nijmegen, bringing them one step closer to the Eredivisie crown.
Ajax’s victory came barely hours after Manchester United’s visit to Arsenal. United was defeated 3-1 at the Emirates, their second loss of the week and they are third in the last four games.
The defeat effectively kills United’s chances of qualifying in the top four, having fallen six points behind Arsenal with four games remaining. It implies that when Ten Hag lands at Old Trafford at the end of the season, he won’t be able to play in the Champions League.
United’s latest defeat highlighted the monumental task that Ten Hag has this summer. Speaking after his last victory with Ajax, the Dutchman said he was not losing focus on his current job.
“I constantly stay concentrated and focused on the business at hand,” Ten Hag stated. “It doesn’t matter what’s going on around me. You’re always thinking about the future, while my mind and energy are focused on Ajax.”
When asked about United’s loss at Arsenal, Ten Hag said, “I don’t have an opinion on that.” I showed respect for the people that are currently at Man United, and I am accountable for Ajax.”
Despite his refusal to discuss his new squad on Saturday, Ten Hag has already revealed his reasons for leaving Ajax. In an interview with Trouw, he stated, “This is already a bonus year.”
“Things were already unfolding last summer, but I wanted to be successful with Ajax one more time and spend the winter in the Champions League.” Because when I was appointed, I stated that Ajax needed to become “Europe proof.” That works. But we’re not done yet.”