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Man Utd legend Andrew Cole says there is still “a big gap” between his former club and rivals Man City.
His comments come after the Red Devils lifted their first trophy under new manager Erik ten Hag, with Man Utd defeating Newcastle 2-0 in the Carabao Cup on Sunday.
Cole, who helped the Red Devils to the treble in 1999 and scored 121 goals during his 275 appearances in red, has suggested that the blue half of Manchester remain superior thanks to their achievements in recent years.
Man Utd legend Cole highlights ‘big gap’
Man Utd currently sit third in the Premier League table, just six points behind their noisy neighbours.
Ten Hag’s men are also looking strong in the FA Cup and Europa League, where they face West Ham and Real Betis in the next rounds of the respective competitions.
Despite the success the new manager has enjoyed so far, former striker Cole is wary that Pep Guardiola’s men remain the club to fear in Manchester.
“I’m very, very happy obviously we won the League Cup and with Ten Hag, but let’s put things into perspective here, it’s his first season,” said Cole, as per LiveScore. “We’ve got to be very honest, we know there’s a big gap between ourselves and Manchester City.
“So I’m not going to look at this year and say ‘we’re back.’ It’s fantastic that we’ve had the opportunity to win the cup, but I think we’re still a little bit away. If we keep improving like we are at the moment it won’t be too much longer.”
Ten Hag urged to forge his own path at Man Utd
Cole also touched on the close relationship between current boss Ten Hag and ex-boss Sir Alex Ferguson, with the former seemingly relying on the latter for advice on how to succeed at Old Trafford.
The Dutchman will undoubtedly be keen to enjoy even half of the success that the Scotsman enjoyed during his phenomenal reign at the Theatre of Dreams.
While Man Utd legend Cole is understanding of the close connection between the two managers, he has urged Ten Hag to one day forge his own path at the Red Devils.
“I think with Ten Hag we all know he’s got a pinch on the game and how he wants to run the football club, he’s very good with discipline,” added Cole.
“From the outside looking in, I could say possibly that’s what Ten Hag is doing at Manchester United – leaning on Sir Alex Ferguson for his knowledge.
“But at some stage you’re going to look at things and address things in a totally different way. So, I think to take it on board that Sir Alex Ferguson is there and he’s going to be there period.
“There’s no point to try to fight against him because I think when people try and fight against it then it seems to cause more problems than anything else, it seems like they’ve got a very good relationship which is only a positive thing.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 28, 2023
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