Erik ten Hag says Man Utd players must ‘take responsibility’ after humiliating Brentford defeat
The Manchester United manager also admitted the players’ confidence is fragile.
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The Red Devils lost 4-0 on Saturday evening, meaning they’ve been beaten in both of their opening Premier League games of the season.
But it was more than just the scoreline, this was as bad a performance as United supporters have seen in modern times, with the Red Devils bullied by Brentford.
Speaking after the game, Ten Hag said it was not acceptable and seemed to imply the players had not carried out his instructions.
“[It’s] difficult to me, it’s a surprise when you start the game like this,” the United manager told Sky Sports. “After 35 minutes you concede four goals; it is not possible.
“The team has to take the responsibility. I feel really sorry for the fans who did everything to support us, but we let them down.
“They are good [players], but you have to take responsibility on the pitch as a team and as individuals, and that is what we didn’t do.
“What I asked them to do is play with belief and take responsibility for the performance and that is what they didn’t do.”
Asked if United’s players are low on self-belief, Ten Hag responded: “That is the truth. We have conceded and we have to work on that.
“It is only when we stick together and work hard, then we will come over that. But, belief, you have to bring that on the pitch yourself and as a team.”
In the remarkably honest interview Ten Hag added he would have changed all 11 players at half-time if possible, after making three during the interval. “At 4-0, I could have changed all eight others as well.
“As a team, we are in a difficult process,” he added. “I would expect a different start, it’s not what we expected. It seems like, what happened in the past, last season, bringing it into this season, we have to change that really quickly.
Ten Hag was also quizzed on whether meek showings like the one on Saturday would impact the possibility of new signings arriving, the former Ajax manager responded: “We need new players, we need quality players and we will do everything to convince them to come.”