Chelsea’s Graham Potter has revealed his admiration for Erik ten Hag and has discussed Manchester United’s adaptation under the Dutchman this season.
Ten Hag took charge of Manchester United during the summer and has recovered from a difficult start to show signs of progress, with the Red Devils having lost just one of their past eight Premier League fixtures.
United beat Spurs 2-0 in midweek in arguably the club’s best performance of the season and Potter is expecting a tough challenge when Ten Hag’s team visit Stamford Bridge this weekend.
“I have huge respect for Erik ten Hag and his quality as a coach,” he said at his pre-match press conference.
“People adapt and adjust as they go into competition phase. They have battled back, got points and are doing well, so I am looking forward to a good game.”
Potter was in charge of the Brighton team who won 2-1 at Manchester United on the opening weekend, as Ten Hag’s reign began with a disappointing defeat.
The two will resume rivalries this weekend, with Potter now in charge at Chelsea, and the 47-year-old discussed how United now differ to the side he faced earlier in the season.
“They are maybe a little more direct now, focussing on longer balls over the top, but still have the same quality and goal threats of the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony, Jadon Sancho. Bruno Fernandes also plays a key role for them.
“So there are similarities, but they are adapting to each other, which is a normal process. There is a lot of learning you need to do, but sure they will get better and better as time goes on.
“But It’s just another game of football, it’s always the same. Manchester United are Manchester United – they have got some top players and are galvanising into an exciting team.”
Potter also spoke on Ten Hag’s decision to omit Cristiano Ronaldo from his squad this week. Ronaldo has been left out of the travelling squad, having refused to come on as a substitute during the win over Spurs on Wednesday.
“I can’t comment because I don’t know the ins and outs. He’s taken his stance. Sometimes you have to do that then you need your club to support you and it looks like that has happened.
“I don’t know the context. I don’t want to go off the headlines, but it is part of your job as a manager to make decisions, that is normal.”