Steve McClaren (right) will return to Old Trafford as Erik ten Hag's assistant manager
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Steve McClaren is just the man to help coach Manchester United’s ‘ill-disciplined’ stars, insists ex-Boro winger Stewart Downing – who claims Red Devils ‘need coaching’ after another underwhelming season under Ralph Rangnick

  • Stewart Downing has backed Steve McClaren to help Man United’s misfortunes 
  • The former England boss is back at Old Trafford as Erik ten Hag’s No.2 
  • Downing says his former boss can help change United’s ‘ill-disciplined’ stars
  • Former Middlesbrough winger claims McClaren overachieved at the Riverside 

Stewart Downing has backed his former boss Steve McClaren to have a big impact on Man United’s ‘ill-disciplined’ side next season.

The former England boss is now back at Old Trafford as the No 2 to new manager Erik ten Hag, having been part of Manchester United’s treble winning success as Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant in 1999.

And Downing, who knows McClaren well from their time with England and Middlesbrough, has backed his former coach to turn things around at United after their dismal campaign last year. 

Steve McClaren (right) will return to Old Trafford as Erik ten Hag's assistant manager

Steve McClaren (right) will return to Old Trafford as Erik ten Hag’s assistant manager

Stewart Downing has backed his former coach to help United's 'ill-disciplined' stars

Stewart Downing has backed his former coach to help United’s ‘ill-disciplined’ stars

Speaking ahead of the 360 Sports TV Masters Cup, Downing said: ‘The one thing I will say about McClaren is that he’s a very good on-field coach, and I think that team does need coaching a little bit.

‘When I watch United they’re so ill-disciplined, and [McClaren] is really good at organising the team and getting them how he wants them to play, and I’m sure he and Ten Hag have got the same sort of ideas.’

Manchester United struggled last season first under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and then under interim boss Ralf Rangnick before appointing ten Hag and McClaren for the 2022/23 season.

The Red Devils had a season to forget last year as they recorded their worst ever Premier League campaign –  with 16 wins, 57 goals scored and just 58 points collected. 

Manchester United had a season to forget last year as they finished sixth in the Premier League

Manchester United had a season to forget last year as they finished sixth in the Premier League

Stewart Downing was part of the Boro team that lost 4-0 to Sevilla in the 2006 UEFA Cup Final

Stewart Downing was part of the Boro team that lost 4-0 to Sevilla in the 2006 UEFA Cup Final 

Downing spent eight seasons with Middlesbrough with McClaren being coach for five of them. He claims that the United assistant overachieved with Boro and expects to see similar things this year. 

‘We were a very well organised as a team. McClaren overachieved with us, instilled a winning attitude, we got to the UEFA Cup final and beat some amazing teams just by pure hard work and being very well drilled.’

The impact that McClaren could have has already been illustrated after he blasted players who fail to contribute to a positive energy at a football club recently. 

Steve McClaren has given out the blueprint on how he hopes to get Manchester United firing

Steve McClaren has given out the blueprint on how he hopes to get Manchester United firing

‘These are the things that we need to do, things like we all need to connect with each other.’ McClaren explained to his son on their McClaren Performance podcast.

‘Games are won Monday to Friday, if you get Monday to Friday right, games are won on Saturday. Each and everyone has to bring energy.

‘A lot of people now, body language arms up in the air, you’ve got to react to get that ball back, win that ball back, whatever situation, react quick don’t think about it.’ 

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