United finished sixth in the Premier League last season, 13 points outside the Champions League places and a whopping 35 points behind champions Manchester City. It was also United’s lowest ever points total in the history of the Premier League.
This reportedly promoted some Old Trafford staff members to advise Ten Hag to keep early expectations ‘realistic’ while the bulk of the squad remained the same.
The report comes from ESPN, who add that Erik ten Hag ignored United chief’s advice to play down expectations and instead decided to talk up their chances in an effort to improve the confidence within his squad.
Ten Hag also chose to talk up the players he inherited - including problem areas of the squad like central midfield - in a bid to repair morale within the dressing room.
However, it is probably fair to say that this had very little impact on the United midfielder’s display this past weekend vs Brighton.
Scott McTominay was asked to play in a more advanced role at times, but the Scotsman lost the ball on a number of occasions and was lucky not to get sent off.
Elsewhere, Fred was tasked with being the sole holding midfielder, something he struggled with greatly before eventually being subbed off and replaced by Christian Eriksen.
Manchester United’s next outing comes vs Brentford on Saturday evening.