Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag has cautioned Saudi-owned Newcastle United that money is no assurance to entering into the top four.
Manchester United begin a run of three Premier League matches in six days at Saint James Park on Sunday with Champions League positions still available to battle for.
Erik Ten Hag’s side confidently despatched Newcastle United by 2-0 in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley in February.
Ten Hag is sure that persistent success is down to more than throwing money at a club with the hope of being successful.
“Money is one thing but another is strategy. When I was at Ajax, we had a low budget in comparison to many clubs in the Champions League and still won the group, went to the semi-final and were close to the final. So it’s possible to beat teams with higher budgets.
“We are going in the direction. I think we are building a base this season but have to progress. We are setting higher demands and standards for our players every time.”
Newcastle United have dolled out £300 million to acquire names like Alexander Isak, Bruno Guimaraes, Kieran Trippier, Nick Pope and Sven Botman since the beginning of last year with the assurances that more signings would still be made.
The rapid upgrade at Newcastle has made the top four battle more competitive than ever for teams like Manchester United who have forked out a lot of money themselves.
In 2016, Manchester United spent a lot to sign Paul Pogba which seemingly looked like an £89 million loss as the player left in the summer of 2022 on a free.
The team tutored by Erik Ten Hag has spent judiciously on the likes of Casemiro and Christian Eriksen at the start of the campaign.
Ten Hag has stated that his side were able to acquire top class players even though they aren’t playing Champions League football this season due to the club’s stature
Ten Hag has stated that even though Manchester United were able to sign top class players depite not having Champions League football, the reputation of the team implies they have to be in Europe’s top-tier competition.
“Let’s make clear one thing, we have to play in the Champions League. We’re Manchester United and have to be in it, there can be no misunderstanding.
“Even when we’re not we are still attractive for the top players. I noticed that last year. This club attracts big people. Casemiro is a very good example, he has won everything but was willing to come.
“But I want to make the point clear that we have to be in the Champions League and there are two ways to it. One is in the Premier League and finishing in the top four or there is winning the Europa League. Those are the two chances.”
Manchester United have seemingly found their mojo in Cup competitions this season, winning the Carabao Cup and are still in the FA Cup alongside the Europa League.
The Premier League form has not been quite as good with losses in their opening matches against Brighton and Brentford, they have also failed to score in their last two league games against Liverpool and Southampton.
Erik Ten Hag is intransigent that there is no disparity in attitude as Manchester United play three league matches in a row without a knockout encounter for just the third time this year.
The manager of Manchester United say they want to win every game
He said: “We want to win every game, When we talk about constructing a culture, that is the approach we have. Prepare 100% because we don’t want to miss things in any match.
“I think that is what people can expect from us and that is the demands we have to set.”
The Captain of Brazil, Casemiro will be unavailable for all three of this week’s Premier League encounters after he picked up a red card against Southampton last month.
However, Scott McTominay who scored four goals for his nation during the International break could deputise in midfield due to Casemiro’s absence.