Wes Brown has told TEAMtalk that Manchester United fans expecting a quick fix under Erik ten Hag have got it badly wrong.
After a woeful season that saw United’s come up short of qualifying for the Champions League and fail to challenge for major trophies, Brown has outlined his vision for the club’s short-term future in an exclusive interview with TEAMtalk at a Gambling.com event.
With Liverpool and Manchester City more than 30 points ahead of Manchester United, the former United defender who started in the club’s 2008 Champions League final win against Chelsea in Moscow admits this story may get worse before it improves.
“This is a situation that will not change in one transfer window,” said the former defender who played 362 games for United in a 14-year career.
“It might take two or three and that is a long time in football. Patience is not something football fans tend to show, but United fans will need that over the next couple of years.
“Hopefully Ten Hag is a man who can sort it. He looks hungry, he did some good work at Ajax and I think the supporters are genuinely intrigued to see how he gets on.
“There is a big re-build on the way. Players will go. He will have his own ideas but I do see change. And, potentially, a lot of it, too.
“Everyone can see the problems at United. They have been there for a long time now and they are not getting any better.
“This will take time and while I don’t like to admit it. It will take a long time to put it right.
“The performances we have seen this year have been hard to explain. We have been a team of two halves and this has been going on for a couple of seasons now.
“We tend to start matches slowly, fall behind and they try to fight back. I got to most games and we are letting a goal in over the first 10 minutes. And then we are trying to fight back.
“Then we have the players in the final third who can get us back into games. And we have relied on them to dig out results.
Wes Brown: First principle is ‘working hard’
“I was brought up at United to understand that the first principle is working hard. If you do that, if you are fully committed, you will always have a chance.
“I’m not saying these United players are not working hard. But clearly they have not worked as a team and this new manager has a big job on his hands.
“He needs to get across to the players what it means to play for Manchester United.
“I was reminded of that every day by Alex Ferguson, Roy Keane and the leaders in our team and maybe this team has not grasped that as much as they should.
“If you don’t put the work in, you are going to get beat, whatever badge you have on your shirt. Commitment will always take you a long way in this game, but that has been lacking this season at times.
“The new manager needs to change the mentality at the club because what we have seen this season has been hard to watch.”