Ten Hag: We have to stick together

Sunday 24 December 2023 09:36

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has urged his players to stick together following a disappointing 2-0 defeat to West Ham on Saturday.

Jarrod Bowen and Mohammed Kudus scored in quick succession inside the final 20 minutes of the second half, to seal victory for the east London outfit.

Speaking to the media after the game, the Dutchman backed his side to rediscover our form, after enduring a frustrating couple of weeks. 

“They are capable [of turning things around],” he said, addressing journalists in his post-match press conference at the London Stadium.

Erik's post-match press conference Video

Erik's post-match press conference

Press conference | Ten Hag addresses the team's lack of goals and Hojlund's early withdrawal v West Ham...

“I know [Marcus] Rashford can score a goal, [Rasmus] Hojlund can score a goal, Antony can score a goal, [Alejandro] Garnacho can score a goal, Bruno [Fernandes] can score a goal, Scott McTominay can score a goal. 

“We have the scoring abilities in our squad, and also from set plays, but in this moment we are not doing that.

"They have to stick together and also believe in themselves that they can do it.” 

Ten Hag was keen to highlight the importance of scoring the first goal in the game, which can be crucial in determining the outcome. 

“When you control the game, you have to take the goal. 

“[But] when you are not scoring the first goal, you have to show character and personality, as a team you have to fight back.” 

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On the subject of finding the net, the boss also reiterated his belief in striker Rasmus Hojlund, who has five Reds goals to his name through Champions League action, but is yet to get off the mark in the Premier League. 

When asked whether he is worried about Hojlund, Ten Hag said: “No. He is a very strong character and he can deal with the stress. He was ill during the week so he had a little lack of power, so in that sense, I protected him [by taking him off]."

He continued: “We have to play two more games this week but we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. If you are playing for Manchester United, you have to do it together. Everyone has to be accountable and take responsibility.”