Man Utd boss ten Hag: Preseason not about finding starting XI – we need complete squad

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag insists he does not want to settle on a starting XI heading into the Premier League season.

The Dutchman has said he wants a squad with more than 11 starting players as he continues to assess his team on a preseason tour of Australia.

Asked if he had a better idea of his first-choice line-up to start the season, ten Hag told MUTV: “No, I don’t think you can talk about [the] starting XI players. I think we need a squad. This is a season with even more games than ever, by the World Cup. You need depth in the squad, so we need more than 11 starting players and we are working on that.”

So is it a case of getting rhythm into certain players or do you want to get as many minutes into as many different players’ legs as possible? Or is it a bit of both?

United play Crystal Palace on Tuesday before heading to Perth to play Aston Villa on Saturday.

When asked if his rotations were based on getting rhythm into certain players, ten Hag added: “It is. You want to get in a way of playing and that is a long way, to get that in. You will not train it in, say, four, five, six weeks like a pre-season.

“Therefore you need also the games in the league, on the 7 August we need a platform where we can get a result out. That’s is what we’re working for, but from that point on we also have to keep developing the team.”