Luke Shaw says everyone is enjoying working with Erik ten Haag and buying into the new manager’s approach as Manchester United prepare to start a season they are looking forward to with silverware Desperate to finish.
His time around Old Trafford last year was hopeful and hopeful, finishing second in both the Premier League and Europa League after some lucrative acquisitions.
But manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was out the door by November and interim successor Ralph Rangnik faltered, at the humiliating end of a humiliating season with United home sixth.
A 4–0 loss at Brighton in the final match underscored all that was wrong with United, who started a new campaign against Graham Potter’s Seagulls at Old Trafford.
Sunday’s encounter will follow an intense pre-season with former Ajax boss Ten Haig’s first competitive match in charge, long-serving Shaw feeling the benefits.
“I think we are definitely moving in the right direction for the team,” the United defender told MUTV.
“The manager obviously had to come in and bring his ideas, his structure, what he wanted from the team – as a team and also as individuals.
“I think everyone bought into that and really enjoyed the pre-season.
“Like I said, we’ve definitely moved in the right direction, but we’ve also got a lot to improve on. We know that, we know we need to get better.”
Ten Haag has impressed since taking over and the club are pushing to strengthen their squad as United look to end their relative trophy drought.
The 2017 Europa League is the last piece of their silverware and has seen Shaw running on the ground with that in mind.
“I think of course we are always looking for a great start,” he said.
“I think as a team we need to aim high and I think aim high is to win trophies. It’s been a while now.
“Under a new direction, I think it’s definitely something we should be aiming for. We have to aim higher.
“We have to raise the standards and aim high for what we want to achieve.”
United have suffered an injury to Anthony Martial before the first match of the season, raising the prospect of unwanted star Cristiano Ronaldo joining despite playing just 45 minutes in the pre-season.
Christian Eriksson, Lysandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia are pushing to debut with new signings, with Shaw saying all three have been embraced by the group.
“It’s cool,” he said of the dressing room dynamic. “I think it’s always been good.
“We all get along really well, we’re like a family. I think that’s important. I think we need to create a kind of family atmosphere.
“I think with it everyone feels together, closer and I think it makes it better on the pitch.
“When we’re together we know what everyone likes to do and what they want, so I think it’s definitely a good vibe and I think that with the new manager and his ideas. -Together is even more enjoyable.”