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Erik ten Hag’s six new rules for Manchester United’s players as they return to training

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Manchester United's players are adjusting to a new regime, and Erik ten Hag has made it clear what he will not tolerate in terms of player behaviour and cliques among his new rules.

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Erik ten Hag’s six new rules for Manchester United’s players as they return to training

Erik ten Hag continues to send a message to Manchester United’s players, making it plain what he expects of them.

The Dutchman arrived from Ajax this summer, entrusted with transforming the culture at Old Trafford and giving the squad an identity after a disappointing season that saw the Red Devils finish sixth amid persistent rumours of infighting.

Ten Hag is determined to solve such problems and has wasted no time.

Carrington’s new guidelines touch everything from attitudes to training performance.

To begin, the new manager wants his players to play progressive football, encouraging them to pass forward when in possession. 

Backwards or sideways passes are not permitted, and those who do so are subbed off in training, according to The Sun.

Big-name stars such as Bruno Fernandes, Harry Maguire, and Raphael Varane returned to Carrington for the first time under Ten Hag on Monday, with a fresh environment awaiting them. 

They were given extra time off after international duty, as was Cristiano Ronaldo, who was absent despite reports that he wants to leave.

A source said: “There has been a lot of attention on one- and two-touch passing drills where players must try to go forward. If they go sideways or backwards too often he stops the game and the player is taken off for a minute or two.”

Ten Hag has also urged United’s players to improve their fitness, identifying it as a source of concern.

Negative body language will not be tolerated, as it was last term.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes were frequently observed gesticulating to teammates in annoyance or fury.

United suffered with squad relationships last season, particularly during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure, when it became evident that the former manager had favourites.

Ten Hag, on the other hand, has made it clear that he would not tolerate any dressing room cliques, instead pushing for the group to function as a whole.

The new manager is also eager to support youngsters.

Ten Hag came from Ajax, a club with a world-renowned academy, and has regularly given young players an opportunity, and is willing to do so again – at the expense of more veteran players.

He’s already questioned why Zidane Iqbal hasn’t been used more frequently after seeing the teenager up close.

A source explained: “A lot of the younger players have been in the training sessions, too. He has been impressed with Ibqal and wonders why he has not featured more. Ten Hag is trying to tell the senior players that their positions are up for grabs, too. If they work hard, the players willing to carry out his instructions will take the first-team spots. Everyone has stepped up their game and it’s creating healthy competition.”

Ten Hag has also stated that medal hauls, salaries, and previous reputations would no longer be considered, and that all selection decisions will be based on what the new boss sees on the training ground.

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