Erik ten Hag has given his thoughts on footage of an interview of his 13-year-old self and legendary Dutchman Johan Cruyff.
Ten Hag has earned plenty of praise for his squad management this season, even more so following the discovery of a conversation between the current Manchester United boss when he was 13 and the iconic Cruyff.
Asked about managers being harsh on young players, Ten Hag insisted he believes players need more affection in the early stages of their careers but also stressed the importance of being able to hold senior members of the squad accountable - something which has been on show during his time at Old Trafford already.
Shown footage of his meeting with Cruyff by ITV, Ten Hag reacted: “Long time ago. It’s great, I think Johan Cruyff had such an impact on football like Pele, Beckenbauer and Maradona.
“It’s my character, obviously, it’s who I am. I think I was brave and I wanted to be a good football player, I wanted to learn and when you have a moment with Johan Cruyff, you take that moment.
“He was a big inspiration on how you have to play football. Johan Cruyff was not only about winning games – obviously, he was a great winner but also in a certain way; adventure, an attacking way and always with creative solutions.”
Ten Hag has not been afraid to make tough calls this season, most notably the demotions of Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo, the latter of whom agreed to terminate his contract at Old Trafford before sealing a move to Al Nassr.
Positive impacts have also been made by the likes of Marcus Rashford, Alejandro Garnacho and Luke Shaw, while Ten Hag has also worked to ensure Jadon Sancho has been protected from the spotlight while he works on his mental and physical wellbeing behind the scenes.