Manchester United assistant coach Steve McClaren has heaped praise on the squad ahead of the 2022/23 season.
McClaren has seen everything up close – as part of Erik ten Hag’s coaching staff – and he is happy with how they have already showed promising signs while trying to adapt to the methods of the new manager.
Pre-season is over and United are preparing for their Premier League opener against Brighton on Sunday.
In a recent interview with club media (via ManUtd.com), McClaren said: “The great thing that I’ve found is that these are great players to work with. They were a little quiet the first week: it [training] was very demanding.
“But as we got to know the players, as we got more and more into training sessions and they know the demands, the intensity, the competition, the winning and losing, the banter that goes along with it, you can feel the noise and the volume in training, in the dressing room, around the hotel and around Carrington, start to [build].
“That’s what I like, that’s why I enjoy coaching, that’s why I enjoy coming back here because these are damn-good players. You can see that.
“I mean you’ve seen little bits of it in pre-season: the combination of the front three, the work rate of the midfield, you know the organisation at the back. These are good players and they really are – I know they found the first week tough and demanding.
“This group have been fantastic. I get a great feeling,” he continued. “I’ve been into many, many dressing rooms and many dressing rooms for the first two, three, four weeks you kind of know and can smell [it].
“I’ve got a good feeling about this dressing room.”
McClaren was rehired this summer more than two decades after he left the club.
The former England manager joined United in early 1999 and served as assistant manager to Sir Alex Ferguson until he left to take the Middlesbrough job in 2001.
During his first spell at Old Trafford, United won three Premier League league titles, including one which was part of the famous treble in 1999.
In 2004, McClaren led Boro to their first ever major trophy (EFL Cup).
After the England job, McClaren’s journey took him to FC Twente, Wolfsburg, Nottingham Forest, Derby County, Newcastle United and Queens Park Rangers.
McClaren first worked with Ten Hag at Twente.