Ten Hag pays tribute to Fergie for defining United ethos after HOF induction
Erik ten Hag hailed Alex Ferguson as the defining personality in Manchester United's recent history following his induction into the Premier League Hall of Fame.
The league confirmed on Wednesday that Ferguson and his former rival Arsene Wenger are the first two inductees of 2023.
During a remarkable 27-year managerial stint at Old Trafford, Ferguson took standards to an altogether different level and he arguably remains the benchmark.
He took charge in 1986, six years before the foundation of the Premier League, and went on to win the competition 13 times – that is nine more than any other coach or manager.
United are waiting for their first Premier League title since Ferguson's retirement in 2013, and Ferguson's legacy still lauds over every manager who arrives at the club.
Ten Hag is the latest to try his luck and recognises the influence held by Ferguson, which is acting as a guide for the Dutchman as he looks to bring the glory days back to Old Trafford.
"You feel it every day because he left a legacy and Manchester United is Alex Ferguson," Ten Hag told the Premier League.
"He set the highest standards, the highest values, and brought the winning attitude. He built that in the club… and that is the standard that you must face if you want to play for Manchester United or work for Manchester United.
"First of all, he knew when to rebuild and reconstruct a new team because he did it over two decades and every time he was successful. He did it with a balance of homegrown players and bringing big stars in.
"He got the best out of it, like working with Eric Cantona, working with [Ruud] van Nistelrooy, [Robin] van Persie, Wayne Rooney.
"That is huge if you are able to handle those personalities, but also to let them play as a team. That was always one of his most important qualities – that the team is always above any individual. It's difficult to construct one winning team. He did it so many times!”
Ten Hag was spotted having dinner with Ferguson in February before United played host to Barcelona in the Europa League.
At the time he spoke of how "committed" Ferguson still was to the club with his desire to help those who came after him.
Now, he is hoping to make such meetings more of a regular occurrence, such is Ferguson's wealth of experience.
"His experience is huge, so with all the knowledge he can help you with, he can," Ten Hag added.
"I'm really pleased that he wants to share his knowledge with me. It's great to talk and learn from him, and I hope we can do it more often."