Noel Whelan has insisted Erik ten Hag was right to hold “clear-the-air talks” with his Man United players after their start to the new campaign.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the Red Devils stars were already showing more “passion, energy, and desire” during the win over Liverpool on Monday (22 August).
According to The Sun (26 August), Ten Hag called the Man United squad together last Thursday (18 August) and urged them to air any grievances without the threat of repercussions.
The Dutchman reportedly told his players that if anyone did not like his playing style or did not want to play for him, they were invited to tell him there and then – and they were free to leave the club.
Man United had started the new campaign under Ten Hag with losses against Brighton and Brentford – but turned their fortunes around with a 2-1 win over rivals Liverpool following the talks.
Whelan claimed the impact of the talks was visible during Monday’s win at Old Trafford.
He told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury: “This is the best way.
“The best meetings and the voices you want to hear from are the players.
“They’re the ones who work hard or let you down on the pitch. You want to demand more from everyone – and sometimes you need that as a player.
“Sometimes it’s harder to hear from a teammate than it is a manager. You react better when it’s your peers because it’s more personal.
“They needed that, and that’s the way it should be. That’s what professionals do – every game is going to be scrutinised.
“I hope these clear-the-air talks have kicked a few in the backside because they needed it.
“It looked like it had worked against Liverpool. There was a lot more passion, energy, and desire about them.
“It’s got to be consistent, though, not just for one game.”