Ten Hag feels United taught a lesson
Erik ten Hag believes his Manchester United side will learn from the 2-2 draw with Aston Villa in Perth, as Calum Chambers's equaliser at the death denied the Reds a 100 per cent record on Tour 2022.
Ten Hag's men led 2-0 at the break, through Jadon Sancho and an own-goal by Matty Cash, but Leon Bailey pulled one back before Chambers headed in from a corner. Speaking to club media after the final whistle, the boss was clear on how things can be improved.
With friendlies to come against Atletico Madrid and Rayo Vallecano next weekend, both live on the United App, there will be more fine tuning before the big Premier League kick-off, with the Reds entertaining Brighton & Hove Albion on 7 Auguest.
"First half was a decent performance, 2-0 up, but, the second half, we came back out of the dressing room, we had control of the game and we gave it away," explained Ten Hag. "That’s not good so that is a lesson.
"For the players, for the team, I think we make a lot of progress, a lot of positive aspects. I would say also, at the end, a setback, but it’s also part of the season, a season is not always going up, you also have to have setbacks and have to deal with it.
"They [the players] can have a lot of confidence because they are good but they only have to know we have to work hard and play as a team, then we will have good performances."
The pitch cut up terribly at the Optus Stadium in the second half, in the face of such torrential rain, which clearly affected both teams' attempts to play passing football.
It affected the game as a spectacle in the closing stages but the boss was offering no excuses about the surface.
"These are the circumstances we have to deal with on a football field, it’s equal and you have to make an advantage from it," he insisted.
The two tests next weekend may see Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez, providing his transfer is completed in time, make their first appearances for the club.
"We play now a different type of football against different systems," added Ten Hag. "It will also be the case when we face two Spanish teams.
"So, again, a different approach and what we want is, I think, to play proactive football, we want to play with initiative, we want to play attacking football but also [it's] what we have seen today, for long periods. But, in the end, we have to control the game and that’s what we didn’t do."
Next weekend's double-header will be shown live on MUTV, now available in our app and on