The Dutchman has been in charge at Old Trafford since the summer of 2022, when he left Ajax after five successful years and three Eredivisie titles to succeed interim boss Ralf Rangnick, himself a temporary replacement for the sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Ten Hag enjoyed an impressive first season at the United helm, turning around the ship by ending their six-year trophy drought to lift the Carabao Cup after beating Newcastle at Wembley and also securing a third-place finish in the Premier League.
Things have turned rather sour during his second season in charge, however, with the 53-year-old under constant pressure amid a myriad of problems at the club both on and off the pitch.
There has been constant talk of crisis at United this term and suggestions of a dressing-room revolt against the manager over his methods, with the club banning four media outlets from his pre-match press conference earlier this week.
However, the pressure eased somewhat with an impressive 2-1 home win over Chelsea on Wednesday, with sixth-placed United able to - temporarily, at least - leapfrog Tottenham into fifth and level on points with defending champions Manchester City in fourth if they beat struggling Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Talking to the United We Stand fanzine, Ten Hag has now revealed that he initially got plenty of advice not to take on one of the biggest jobs in club football that had become something of a poisoned chalice since the retirement of the iconic Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013.
"Everyone was telling me, 'you can't succeed in that job'," he said.
"They said it was impossible. Me? I wanted the challenge.
"I knew it wouldn't be easy, but it was such a great club with such a great fanbase.
"People love Manchester United, or they are against Manchester United. I like clubs like this. Ajax was like this."