Ten Hag: We're working on it together
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has stated his desire to "change quickly" after the team's 4-0 defeat to Brentford on Saturday.
The boss is adamant that hard work, togetherness and new blood will help overturn a winless start to the Premier League season after the defeats to Brighton and Brentford.
“We are, as a team, in a difficult process,” Ten Hag admitted to Sky Sports.
“We expected a different start. It seems like what happened in the past, last season, we have to change that very quickly.
“We need new players, we need quality players and we will do everything to convince them to come.”
Ten Hag acknowledged United’s recent struggle to overcome challenging moments after his side were beaten by the Bees.
“Yeah, this is the truth,” he said. “We have seen it and we have to work on it.
“Only when we stick together and we work hard we’ll [get] over it. The belief, you have to bring on the pitch for yourself and as a team.”
United started confidently at the Gtech Community Stadium, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford showing sharp touches on the ball. However, individual mistakes soon fuelled the home side, adding heat to the already blazing conditions in West London.
Josh Dasilva’s speculative shot trickled away from David De Gea for 1-0, before the Spaniard’s pass to Christian Eriksen led to Mathias Jensen adding a second on the 20-minute mark.
The goalkeeper could do little for Ben Mee and Bryan Mbeumo’s goals, though, which sent United into the break 4-0 down and looking for a miracle.
De Gea showed his leadership after the game by taking responsibility for the first two goals during an interview that he asked to do.
Ten Hag also accepted his own part in the outcome by saying: “Don’t get me wrong, managers are responsible as well. It’s a big responsibility and I take that. I will work on that.”
The manager’s half-time changes wrestled some control back for the Reds. Raphael Varane, Tyrell Malacia and Scott McTominay helped shore things up as the tempo slowed under the beating sun.
United started to pass the ball around with more decisiveness, but Brentford’s high press and explosive pace remained a constant threat on the break.
Despite carving open a couple of decent opportunities for Ronaldo and a late chance for Eriksen, it was very much damage limitation for the Reds.
Ten Hag outlined one of the main objectives now is to improve the team’s self-belief and response to adversity.
“That's our job,” he said in his post-match press conference. “So we have to work on that. We have to encourage them, but also they have to get it by themselves because they know they are good players. Now we have to be a team and take responsibility.”
Ten Hag and his coaches will work on the training pitch and the analysis room ahead of a huge fixture in eight days' time, at home to Liverpool on Monday 22 August.
“Yes, the training pitch is one thing but it’s clear, and we will do the analysis, we have to improve. This is not good.”