Gary Neville explains how ‘vast experience’ of Steve McClaren will aid new Man United boss Erik ten Hag and compares role to ‘what Brian Kidd did with Pep Guardiola for many years’
- Erik ten Hag has built his new Manchester United coaching staff for the season
- Ten Hag has hired Steve McClaren as his assistant manager at the Red Devils
- Former Red Devils legend Gary Neville believes McClaren is a good appointment
Former Manchester United legend Gary Neville insists Steve McClaren’s vast experience in English Football will prove vital to new boss Erik ten Hag.
The former England manager McClaren was confirmed as one of ten Hag’s assistant coaches earlier this week, alongside Mitchell van der Gaag.
McClaren’s return to United sees him reunited with Ten Hag. The pair know each other well with Ten Hag having been McClaren’s assistant for the 2008-09 season at Dutch outfit Twente.
Gary Neville insists Steve McClaren’s (right) vast experience will help boss Erik ten Hag (left)
Ten Hag was McClaren’s assistant manager at Dutch outfit Twente during the 2008-09 season
It was McClaren’s first campaign within Dutch football and the now role reversal at United sees Ten Hag’s first foray within the English game.
McClaren and Ten Hag worked successfully together during that sole season, with Twente finishing second in the Eredivisie. Ten Hag left that summer and McClaren steered the Dutch side to their only top-flight title that following term.
Former right-back Neville, who knows McClaren well from their Old Trafford and England days, believes the 61-year-old’s knowledge of the Premier League and English football will be a major boost to ten Hag.
Gary Neville believes McClaren’s knowledge of English football with aid the success of ten Hag
‘I think Ten Hag comes as a successful coach, a coach that’s won, a coach that’s got belief and knows how to build an idea,’ Neville told the Manchester United website.
‘I think he does need someone alongside him on the side of the pitch that can tell him about different stadiums, referees, different things that happen culturally in England around matches.
‘Steve McClaren’s got vast experience, not just at Manchester United but obviously in English football.’
Neville compared McClaren’s job to the one United legend Brian Kidd previously performed, albeit on the other side of the city.
Neville has compared McClaren’s role to what Brian Kidd did with Pep Guardiola at Man City
‘I see Steve’s role, to be fair, as more akin to what Brian Kidd did with Pep Guardiola for many years,’ Neville added.
‘I’ve done quite a lot of City games over the years [for television] and just that little voice that says ‘look Pep, you’re at this ground today, this is what it’s like’ and it’s just that type of advice that ultimately the new manager will need.’
Pre-season for United begins in June, with Ten Hag calling his players in early, and McClaren cannot wait to get started.
‘It’s not just exciting going back to Manchester United, it’s exciting working with Erik again. Mitchell, is a very, very good coach, and hopefully together with the [existing] staff – John Murtough has also been a fantastic help – we can begin in the middle of June, the players come back and it’s a new beginning.
‘Erik’s looking forward and I certainly am. It was great to catch up again over the last seven days and really bond again. Hopefully we make a great team off the field and hopefully produce one on the field.’
Now starting his second spell at Old Trafford, McClaren was iconic figure Ferguson’s assistant between 1999 and 2001. McClaren’s first campaign coincided with their iconic Treble-winning haul.
McClaren was Sir Alex Ferguson’s (third left) No 2 at United for three years between 1999- 01