Steve McClaren has made a sensational return to Manchester United this week, with the 61-year-old being confirmed as one of Erik ten Hag’s assistants.
Ten Hag signed a three-year deal to become United’s next permanent manager and the Dutchman has wasted no time in getting started, impressing his maiden press conference earlier this week.
McClaren will be joined by Mitchell van der Gaag as part of the new-look backroom staff and further additions are expected to be made before pre-season starts next month.
McClaren has now opened up on his return to the club, insisting that his first stint in the last 90s left a permanent mark on him.
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“Of course it is,” he said on The McClaren Performance Podcast when quizzed on if it was exciting to be returning to the Old Trafford club.
“Once you’re at Manchester United and worked there, it’s kind of in your blood. It’s kind of one of your teams. Obviously, the ups and downs that we have followed, we have always had an affection for Manchester United.
“It was, as you said, the worst kept secret, but really, it wasn’t confirmed until last week when Erik (Ten Hag) and Ajax finally won the league.
“Then we had the meetings the day after. He celebrated the championship and it was made official. We basically got to work. He finished his last game. He came to London last week, I met him and Mitchell and John Murtough.
“Together, we spent five days, six days including yesterday with the press and seven including today, so we spent the last week. Like I said to you all the way along when we talked about Erik as a possible candidate for Manchester United, I sad the work ethic, the attention to detail has again just been exemplified in the last seven days.”
McClaren will hope to replicate a fraction of the success he enjoyed under Sir Alex Ferguson, with the club on its longest trophy drought since the Premier League was formed in 1992.
It’s expected to be a summer of wholesale changes at the club, with up to 10 players possibly leaving and several expected to walk through the doors at Carrington as replacements.