Erik ten Hag called Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s investment in Manchester United a “positive” turn of events for the club, but said it had no impact on the players on his team.
Ratcliffe’s sporting guru, Sir Dave Brailsford, was in the stands at Old Trafford on Tuesday as United came back from 2-0 down to beat Aston Villa 3-2.
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It was their first game since the announcement that British billionaire Ratcliffe, chairman of chemical company Ineos, had agreed to a $1.3 billion deal to buy a 25% stake and take control of all football matters at the club.
“I don’t think it has had an impact on the players,” Ten Hag said after the match. “For me, I was kept informed in the whole process, so I knew what was going on.
“We’re looking forward. I think it is positive for the club that they are stepping in. They have a lot of experience in sport at the highest level — F1, a cycling team, football clubs.
“They can only help us and support us to get our targets. We are looking forward. They want to work with us and we want to work with them.”
Brailsford, director of sport at Ineos, watched from the stands as Villa went 2-0 up before half-time thanks to goals from John McGinn and Leander Dendoncker — both coming from set players.
United, though, staged an impressive comeback in the second half with two goals from Alejandro Garnacho and a winner from Rasmus Hojlund, who found the net in the Premier League for the first time since his £72 million summer move from Atalanta.
“I’ve had several talks with him and I pointed out you scored for Denmark a lot and you scored in the Champions League, so that demonstrated ability. So believe in it and it will come,” Ten Hag said when asked about the striker. “He will score more. When strikers don’t score it is always a problem, but he has a strong character.
“He has a big personality and that is what a striker needs and when you keep investing the goals will come.”