Rashford and Ten Hag
Striker Marcus Rashford has said that manager Erik ten Hag is 'a joy to work with' Oli SCARFF/AFP News

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has revealed that his friends tried to convince him not to take charge of the Old Trafford club.

Ten Hag said his friends tried to talk him out of becoming the next Manchester United boss as they believed he faced an "impossible job".

The Dutch boss left Ajax to take over the Red Devils ahead of the 2022-23 season. But he has been under immense pressure in the ongoing campaign, his second season.

Ten Hag: Everyone said you can't succeed at Man Utd

Speaking to United We Stand, Ten Hag said he was warned how tough life at Manchester United would be.

"Everyone was telling me 'You can't succeed in that job'. They said it was impossible. Me? I wanted the challenge," Ten Hag said.

The 53-year-old manager started off his stint as Manchester United's manager on a high as he ended the club's six-year wait for a trophy. The Old Trafford side defeated Newcastle United in the final of the League Cup. Ten Hag also led Manchester United to a third-place finish in the Premier League, securing the UEFA Champions League for the following season.

However, the Red Devils are having a low run in the 2023-24 season as they are at the bottom of their Champions League group with one game left to play. Ten Hag and Co are sixth in the league table with 27 points, nine behind leaders Arsenal.

Manchester United have not seriously challenged for the Premier League or the Champions League since Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement in 2013. Ten Hag is the sixth boss - after David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick - to try to bring success back to the club.

"I knew it wouldn't be easy, but it was such a great club with such a great fanbase. People love Man Utd, or they are against Man Utd. I like clubs like this. Ajax was like this," Ten Hag added.

Their 2-1 win over Chelsea in the Premier League on Wednesday has removed some of the growing pressure on Ten Hag and his squad.

Man Utd are not in crisis, feels Ten Hag

Even though the Red Devils have recorded their worst start to the league after 15 games in six decades, Ten Hag has backed his side, saying the situation has not reached a crisis point. His comments came after Manchester United drew three points following a nail-biting victory over Chelsea at Old Trafford.

"We started very well, very dynamic, brave and proactive. We created a lot of chances in that moment and could have been two or three up. We dominated the opponent in and out of possession.

"It was very enjoyable how the team played. It hasn't felt like a crisis for us. We've kept calm, worked on the process and we know where we have to build and what we have to build on," Ten Hag said in his post-match press conference.

The Dutchman ensured that his side was heading in the "right direction" and they don't get distracted by criticism coming from outside the club.

The upcoming period of Christmas and New Year is expected to be an interesting time at Old Trafford, with Sir Jim Ratcliffe's investment into the club set to be finalised next week. The timing is perfect as it comes just before the January transfer window opens.

However, Ten Hag does not believe Manchester United would spend big at the winter transfer market despite a poor season.

Manchester United are due to play six matches in the remainder of the month, including a must-win fixture against Bayern Munich in the Champions League. The Red Devils' next game is at home against Bournemouth on Saturday in the Premier League.