Ten Hag: We need to play smarter

Tuesday 03 January 2023 23:10

Erik ten Hag says that, despite his satisfaction with Manchester United's 3-0 win over Bournemouth, the Reds need to be "smarter" in future fixtures.

Goals from Casemiro, Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford sealed the Premier League victory for United at Old Trafford, taking the Reds to four consecutive victories in all competitions since the season resumed after the 2022 World Cup.

Despite the three-goal deficit, Bournemouth could have got on the scoresheet if it wasn't for David De Gea, making his 510th appearance for the club.

Following the win, which moved the Reds level on points with third-placed Newcastle, having played one match fewer, Erik spoke to various media outlets, including MUTV, Sky and BBC.

Below you can read the best of the answers Ten Hag gave when asked about topics including his defensive options, Anthony Martial and Donny van de Beek...

Erik on the goals, injuries and Wan-Bissaka Video

Erik on the goals, injuries and Wan-Bissaka

Erik ten Hag reviews the 3-0 win over Bournemouth and gives an update on the fitness of van de Beek and Martial...


“It’s true. It was 3-0 and I am happy with that. This is quite clear. But today was not our best game. We need to be smart as a team and make great goals but sometimes we are lucky. Great saves from David but play a little bit more smart and as a team and, finally, we ended up with two departments. One attacking one and one defending one.”


“I like Reds goals. I am happy with the set-play, we invest a lot in that. It was a great goal from Casemiro but the counter with Luke [Shaw was superb]. It was a good pass from [Alejandro] Garnacho but he [Shaw] set it up by himself by taking it forward. He was really dynamic with a lot of speed but also all the offensive players make the right movements and it was a good finish. We are really happy with that. Then the last goal was good also. Good pass from Luke, great movement from Bruno [Fernandes] and then the lay-off.”


“No, that is too quick [to say how bad it is]. We have to wait 24 hours and then you can make the right diagnosis. The medical team have to do their work, it doesn’t look that great.”


“I think he will be good. He will be fine. He continued the game so I hope he will recover overnight and be fresh for Friday [against Everton in the Emirates FA Cup].”

United wait on Donny diagnosis


The boss admits he is concerned by van de Beek's injury and he also has the latest on Anthony Martial.


"He is fit and invested a lot in attitude and in [a] physical [way]. He's a great footballer, an outstanding player and in very good form. I hope he can keep doing it because he is getting some rewards. He told me after the game that he was [feeling a bit ill] but that he wants to contribute and keep involved."


“We have to go from game to game. The next game is a cup game but there is also the league. We want to win every game and it has to be a process. The process has to be to win the next game and not look any further. We need to concentrate on that, and we know that, so we have to bring energy and preparation to have the energy when we kick off on Friday night.”

Things we noticed against Bournemouth


Casemiro's influence, De Gea's landmark appearance and Shaw's attacking intent are among the key talking points.


“I think once again [it was] a great performance [from Rashford]. I said before the season, and I said the same with Anthony Martial. Believe in the goal because they will always create chances with their capabilities, with the capabilities of the team because they will create goals for them and they will create opportunities for them and then they have to finish. So they must focus from minute one until the last minute and then the chances will come, so then it’s up to them.”