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Incoming Manchester United head coach Erik Ten Hag has effectively told the current crop of Old Trafford players it's his way or the highway.

The 52-year old has signed a three-year contract at the slumbering Premier League giants, with the option of a fourth year.

Still with Ajax for the next few weeks, Ten Hag has given a first interview since the Manchester United appointment to Dutch outlet, Trouw.

He's assured any potential doubters by saying he's capable of dealing with a dressing room full of big egos, but has courted controversy already by defending his friendship with disgraced former Ajax sporting director, Marc Overmars.

Ten Hag admitted that coaching has become a more intensive profession over the last two decades, saying it's important to take a real interest in one's players to truly succeed.

Regarding dealing with their egos, he said, "This is the biggest challenge for every trainer-coach at the moment. 

"Those egos are also created by society, aren't they. And they are also necessary to survive in such a world. But I have to make sure they keep working together.”

Asked if he's prepared to deal with individuals of the stature of Cristiano Ronaldo, for instance, he replied, "“I think so, but I will remain myself in that too. 

"I will not change my view on coaching.

"The material always determines how you play, but I indicate the requirements that come with it and the standards. I tell who has what task and anyone not living up to it will be told that, regardless of who it is.

"I make no concessions in that regard.”

Ten Hag will also make very few concessions with regards to transfers, an area that will be key with some much rebuilding work to be done at Old Trafford.

"I set requirements in advance about how I want to work," he revealed, "If they aren't granted, I won't go.

"I am ultimately responsible, and I am judged on the results.

"I don't want to be the sole ruler, I believe in cooperation, but having a say in transfers is a condition for me."

Ten Hag's final season at Ajax has been mired in controversy, with Andre Onana serving a nine-month doping ban, winger Quincy Promes charged with attempted manslaughter, and the departure of Marc Overmars from the club.

The former Arsenal and Netherlands winger stepped down after a decade as director of football at Ajax, after he admitted to sending inappropriate messages to female staff members. Overmars has since crossed the border to take up a similar position at Antwerp, which has led to several sponsors walking away from the Belgian club.

Asked about his loyalty to Overmars, Ten Hag responded, "Yes, we are still in touch. And that is more than business.

He added, "My job is to keep things together. That includes sticking up for people. I do that from my heart too. We humans are in this world to help each other and not to shoot each other.”

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Cristiano Ronaldo Erik Ten Hag Manchester United Marc Overmars Ralf Rangnick

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