Raphael Varane reveals Man United’s players now know ‘exactly how we want to play’ under Erik ten Hag, after last season’s struggles under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick… as he praises the Dutchman for instilling confidence and discipline
- Raphael Varane’s first season at Old Trafford turned sour as United struggled
- But the Frenchman believes Erik ten Hag has transformed the mood at the club
- Varane believes that the mentality of the squad has improved this season
Raphael Varane has highlighted the difference at Manchester United since Erik ten Hag’s arrival, saying that the players now know exactly how they must play under the Dutchman.
Varane’s first season at Old Trafford following a £34million move from Real Madrid turned sour as United struggled under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and interim boss Ralf Rangnick.
But Ten Hag has transformed the mood on and off the pitch with United now the only club left in Europe still challenging in four competitions.
Asked to explain the changes ahead of United’s Europa League clash with Barcelona on Thursday night, Varane said: ‘I think first of all it is the confidence and secondly I think it is the discipline.
‘Tactically we are following exactly the rules. We know exactly how we want to play and manage the game. The quality is in the squad, and I think with a little bit more experience and mentality of competition we can really improve a lot. That is maybe the difference between this season and last.
Raphael Varane has revealed that the players now know exactly how they must play under Erik ten Hag
The 29-year-old believes that United have grown a lot over the last few months and are playing with much more confidence
‘I think in the last months we grow a lot. I think we are playing with more confidence and tomorrow the atmosphere will be electric. We have to manage our emotions are stay calm and believe.
‘We improved a lot already as a team and the next stage is to beat teams like Barcelona. It is a great challenge for us and a great opportunity.’
Varane locked horns with Barca in numerous El Classico meetings between the Catalans and Real during a trophy-laded career in Spain that brought 17 major trophies – including four Champions League successes.
Reflecting on United’s 2-1 win at the Nou Camp in last week’s first leg, the French World Cup winner added: ‘I think the first game against Barcelona was a very good game – top level, two open teams who want to press high on the pitch.
‘The level was very good and a good result for us. The first half we could maybe score more goals, but in general we played with character and personality on the pitch which was very important.
‘For the second game, we know exactly how we want to play. We want to play with patience, discipline on the pitch and belief. I think we have a good team and we are ready for the challenge.’
Ten Hag has transformed the mood on and off the pitch with United now the only club left in Europe still challenging in four competitions
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