Ten Hag reacts to Forest defeat

Saturday 30 December 2023 20:42

Erik ten Hag has conceded Manchester United's injury and illness problems have made life difficult for his team, following a 2-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest.

Marcus Rashford's equaliser raised hopes of a positive result to end the calendar year but the game hinged on a pivotal moment as Matt Turner saved from Christian Eriksen at one end, before a breakaway raid was finished off by Morgan Gibbs-White to hand the points to the home side, to move them away from the relegation zone.

Ten Hag admitted his side were undone going for the win but bemoaned the loss of Rasmus Hojlund beforehand, scorer of the winning goal against Aston Villa in midweek, adding to the long list of absentees due to injury and illness.

Here is a selection of what he had to say to the official broadcasters, after the loss at The City Ground...

Ten Hag: United have to step up Video

Ten Hag: United have to step up

A disappointed Erik ten Hag gives his thoughts on the Reds’ performance after defeat in our final game of the year…


"It's clear the result is very disappointing, I'm also disappointed by the performance before half-time. We should have invested more in such moments. We created less before half-time and we should invest more there, by quicker play and by movements. In the final third, it was not good enough, and we did not invest enough to create chances."


"So the first-half performance was not okay but the second half was better. In bad moments, we conceded the goals. In that moment, the game was ours and we went for 2-1, only to concede on the counter. Then we tried and had chances, as well at the end of the game, at the last whistle, with Christian Eriksen. So we had our moments but it wasn't good enough to win it. We fought back and went for the win but, on the counter attack, we got hammered. That's the explanation of this defeat."


"When you concede two goals, as a team, you have to defend better and read the game in that moment. Yeah but it's not our biggest worry, that is making and scoring goals. I'm happy we scored one and we created our chances in the second half, by some good football moments. I'm pleased with that but, of course, we have to win."


"In the second half, they [the attackers] were in the match. I thought Amad Diallo came in really good, Alejandro Garnacho played a very good game, I think. How he fought for that all the time and prepared the goal, a good goal by Marcus Rashford."


"We haven't played with, in a row, the same team. Today, again, we had to change as we lost Rasmus Hojlund. Every time, we have to swap our team and that doesn't help support the routines in the team, therefore it's also explainable as to why you are so inconsistent. We had also nine different partnerships in the back but I think to blame everything doesn't matter to the fans. They don't want to hear this. They want to have us winning and that is what we have to serve them."

Watch Ten Hag's press conference Video

Watch Ten Hag's press conference

See what Erik said to reporters at The City Ground after our defeat to Nottingham Forest...


"Firstly, players are returning. I think we can line up a stronger team. We will also have a stronger bench and then you have your opportunities to change them. So I'm sure we will be stronger in the new year. We are on the same boat, also the players are not happy with this but we have to turn the corner and do better. It's because of the injuries and with also some issues but mainly the injuries hold us back in the progress. We have to turn that around and what is hopeful, in January,  our levels can be higher. We know the reasons why it's not working. I'm just explaining no team can deal with so many issues and injuries, that we have had. We should still have done better and we have depth in the squad but, when you have so many injuries, also the depth is not enough."


"The ranking doesn't lie. We have to make our performances consistent so we have to do better and have to invest from the first minute. But I know the reasons and it makes no sense to get frustrated. I have to work on my team and that is what we are doing day by day."