Erik Ten Hag Hits Out At ‘Unacceptable’ Manchester United For Failing To Score Against Atletico Madrid
Erik ten Hag said his team’s inability to score in their pre-season clash against Atletico Madrid was “not acceptable” following his first defeat as Manchester United manager.
We’ve quickly learned that Ten Hag’s standards at Old Trafford are going to be high. Really high.
After his first game as United manager – a 4-0 win over Liverpool – the Dutchman admitted to seeing “a lot of mistakes” throughout and warned his players not to overestimate the result.
Ten Hag continued to give constructive feedback to his players in post-match interviews following wins against Crystal Palace and Melbourne Victory.
And he proceeded to criticise their second-half performance following a 2-2 draw Aston Villa last week.
“In the first-half, I saw really good football, really controlling and dominating the game but we have to learn from what happened in the second-half,” he told M.E.N. “It’s not possible that you go 2-0 and then throw it away.
“That’s what I just said in the dressing room: a drop of focus is unacceptable but to the season I’m happy because now I can tell them it cannot happen.
“We have to get out of the dressing room and back in your plan and your focus and back to your performance and that is what we didn’t do.”
The 52-year-old isn’t afraid to speak his mind. Take this weekend’s clash against Atletico Madrid, for example.
A late goal from Joao Felix sealed a 1-0 win for Diego Simeone’s men and after the full-time, former Ajax boss Ten Hag gave his honest feedback.
“In the end it’s about the result, and the score was not good,” he told MUTV.
“You have to take benefits if you create chances. I think we created many chances, to produce at least one goal — that point, I am not satisfied. I have told the team it is not acceptable.”
He added: “Also from set-plays we had a big chance from Harry Maguire, so we had enough to win the game and that is always our aim.”
Ten Hag was positive about certain aspects of the game, but he continued to berate their composure in front of goal.
“It was a tough work out but we contributed really well and the performance for the team was really good,” he said.
“Of course, we learned something but in the end it’s about the result and the score was not good.”
In more positive news, Christian Eriksen made his first appearance in a United shirt during the game and he impressed after being subbed on in the 69th minute for Anthony Martial.
He looked lively during his time on the pitch. In fact, he could have easily notched two assists on his unofficial debut.
Ten Hag knows how important the former Inter Milan and Spurs midfielder will be in the coming months. “We know what he is able to do,” he said.
“And I think with our front men, he is able to give them the right chances in the right moments but then it is about finishing.”
Thoughts on Ten Hag’s post-match interview after their defeat to Atletico Madrid?
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Featured Image Credit: MUTV