Erik ten Hag has called for further strengthening of his Manchester United team after securing a return to the Champions League.
United’s convincing 4-1 victory over Chelsea at Old Trafford on Thursday secured a top-four spot with a game to spare.
The Red Devils face Fulham in their final Premier League game on Sunday before facing Manchester City in the FA Cup final.
The Dutchman is already eyeing the upcoming transfer window to narrow the gap between United and rivals City.
“This club belongs in the Champions League,” stated Ten Hag. “Finishing in the top four was the main objective. The competition is tough. There are many teams with really good squads, good managers and high budgets.
“For this moment it is the maximum but we want more and I don’t have a lot of patience. Standards have to go up. Manchester City are playing outstanding football but we have a way to go.
“In the summer we can work with the squad we have but we need to strengthen.
“It’s difficult to say at this moment; we need to see how the transfer window unfolds, but it seems clear that we need more.
“We want to win every game, but as I have just explained, it’s challenging here. There are really good teams, especially this season. Manchester City is playing exceptionally well. We are moving in the right direction, but we still have work to do. It’s a work in progress.”
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Ten Hag agreed that a top-four finish can be considered equivalent to a trophy, but stressed that settling for this is not good enough for him.
“I think in this league, that’s a good base to be in the top four but, yeah, we want to compete for the title. But it has to be realistic. You can first say when you have your squad in the end of the transfer window… and you can make a statement about if it’s realistic or not,” Ten Hag explained.
“Now we are far away, so we have a lot of work to do, we’ve made progress with this team, with this squad but we need better players if we want to compete for the highest.”
Ten Hag concluded: “I think in the Premier League, yeah, [top four] is something like [a trophy], it’s the main objective of the season to get in the Champions League, so therefore you have to see yourself in the top four. The competition is tough, there are many teams with really good squads, good managers, so when you are in there, you did a good job and your team is playing well and performing well and for this moment this is the maximum but we want more.”
On this edition of The Promised Land, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders and Rob Blanchette discuss Manchester United’s win against Chelsea, links to Mason Mount and Harry Kane, plus more!
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