Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has reportedly blocked a squad trip to visit the set of legendary TV soap opera 'Neighbours'.
According to ESPN, the former Ajax boss wants his side to focus solely on footballing matters during the Red Devils' pre-season tour of Australia. He has vetoed the idea of filming players on the set of the long-running TV show.
Ten Hag appears to have been given a strong voice when it comes to organizing and canceling outside commitments for the club. He has already decided against holding post-match press conferences after his team's clashes Down Under.
The 52-year-old has also insisted that his players are not made available for media engagements before training sessions. Players are generally shuttled straight from the airport to their accommodation.
The idea of the Manchester United squad visiting the 'Neighbours' set has been dropped as they continue to train and play pre-season encounters. The iconic TV show is hugely popular in the UK and Australia and is set to end following over 9000 episodes. The show has launched the careers of global superstars such as Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Margot Robbie.
Luke Shaw believes Manchester United's training levels have "stepped up" since Erik ten Hag's arrival
The Dutch boss is well known for making his teams play with high-intensity and high-level pressing, which obviously requires a high level of fitness from his stars.
One criticism Manchester United's players have often been labeled with is a lack of effort and general fitness. However, England left-back Shaw has insisted that his new boss has installed a much higher work ethic into the squad.
As quoted by The Mirror, Shaw said:
"For me, the levels have definitely stepped up and I think they needed to. Obviously last season they weren’t as high as they should be, but the manager has brought more intensity and more running from everyone and we’re in a much better place than we were last year.
"I think everyone is looking really sharp and the most important thing is we’re all really enjoying it. He's very hands-on and he takes a lot of the sessions. He’s involved a lot and if he sees people aren’t hitting the standards that he wants in training he’ll make sure they know."
"Last season was very disappointing, not just as a team but also individually for me. It wasn’t what people expect or what I expect and I think this season is another fresh start."