Gary Neville delivers verdict on Steve McClaren’s return to Man Utd

Steve McClaren was confirmed as part of Erik ten Hag’s backroom staff earlier this week, with the former England manager making a sensational return to the club after over 20 years.

McClaren was part of the staff that famously delivered the Treble in 1999 and spent an additional 18 months as Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant following that triumph.

Now, he will reunite with Ten Hag at Old Trafford and his appointment at United has been met by moderate excitement among fans, with the 61-year-old’s stocks remaining high.

Gary Neville, who worked with McClaren for two years, has become the latest public figure to deliver his verdict on the appointment, arguing that he could replicate the relationship Pep Guardiola had with Brian Kidd at Manchester City.

“I think Ten Hag comes as a successful coach, a coach that’s won, a coach that’s got belief and knows how to build an idea,” Neville is quoted as saying by the official Manchester United website.

“I think he does need someone alongside him on the side of the pitch that can tell him about different stadiums, referees, different things that happen culturally in England around matches.

“Steve McClaren’s got vast experience, not just at Manchester United but obviously in English football. I see Steve’s role, to be fair, as more akin to what Brian Kidd did with Pep Guardiola for many years.

Read more: Erik ten Hag could give Marcus Rashford new role this summer

“I’ve done quite a lot of City games over the years [for television] and just that little voice that says ‘look Pep, you’re at this ground today, this is what it’s like’ and it’s just that type of advice that ultimately the new manager will need.

“[Erik]’s got Darren Fletcher there as well and there are other people at the club who have experience as well but it does seem like a new beginning, there is a lot of turnover of people, people leaving, a new start.”

SN’s verdict…
Thus far, McClaren and Mitchell van der Gaag, Ten Hag’ assistant at Ajax, are the only two confirmed incomings at a coaching level but further arrivals are expected as Ten Hag continues to assess the options currently at the club.

There was an exodus of coaches when Ralf Rangnick arrived late last year but there have been suggestions that some of the existing figures could stick around under Ten Hag.

Earlier this month, it was reported that set-piece coach Eric Ramsay had been chosen to be part of the Dutchman’s backroom staff.

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