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Erik ten Hag snubbing Sky Sports reporter shows Sir Alex Ferguson trait that will help Manchester United

Cain Smith

| Last updated 

Erik ten Hag snubbing Sky Sports reporter shows Sir Alex Ferguson trait that will help Manchester United

Erik ten Hag refused to take a question from Sky Sports reporter Gary Cotterill in his pre-match press conference for Manchester United's Premier League clash with Southampton.

Despite being told beforehand, Cotterill still attempted to quiz Ten Hag, but was shut down as he started speaking.

The Sky Sports reporter has had previous experience with the now United manager. He was seen following the Dutchman following the loss against Crystal Palace on the closing day of last season, which Ten Hag was in attendance for.

He was also seen outside of Ajax's training ground in April following confirmation that the manager would take over at Old Trafford.

After Ten Hag stopped his car to take a picture with a young child, Cotterill tried nipping in to congratulate him on the job, despite it being clear that his focus was still on his then-current job in the Eredivisie.

These altercations led to Cotterill criticising Ten Hag's reaction and comparing it to that of Louis van Gaal, who took over United in 2014. He has since deleted that tweet.

He also hopped onto Twitter to tweet "#karma' with a smug-looked face following the Reds' 4-0 loss to Brentford.

That is said to be one of the reasons why the reporter was not allowed to ask any questions on Friday afternoon. The Telegraph have added that the manager wants to explain directly to Cotterill next week.

Ten Hag has already proven that he will not slouch down with the media during his tenure at the Theatre of Dreams.

He slammed one journalist earlier this month after Cristiano Ronaldo was being targeted for leaving early in the friendly against Rayo Vallecano, despite other players also doing the same.

"There were many players that left (early), but the spotlight is on Cristiano and that's not right," he said.

"So I think (you should) do your research and make out that many players left."

This is not too dissimilar to how the great Sir Alex Ferguson operated in the press room. He was not afraid to ban certain journalists from press conference action if they were out of order.


It was just one small aspect which helped build the character and respect of the Scottish legend. Ten Hag's actions are already showing that he is the one in charge, also.

With the media attention around the club, it would be easy to be overwhelmed by the pressure created by those who question him on a weekly basis.

Ten Hag is showing no signs of weakness in these situations, however, and has came across very well in the media in his opening months as the boss at Old Trafford.

He has shown a level of control in the press room which fans will be desperate to see on the pitch. His typically blunt answers with certain questions will be joint with details answers to others. He knows when to expand and when to keep short, as he has done with much of the Ronaldo saga this summer.

Despite the importance being what we see on the pitch, the way in which Ten Hag is handling himself in these situations will help towards him having an authoritative presence all-round, which will certainly be a positive for him.

The manager will be in charge of his fourth Premier League fixture on Saturday afternoon against Southampton, with his team looking for two wins in a row after their first win of the season against Liverpool on Monday.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Sky Sports

Topics: Manchester United, Premier League, Southampton, Sky Sports, Erik Ten Hag, Sir Alex Ferguson, Football

Cain Smith
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