Erik ten Hag says Manchester United didn’t show “fighting spirit from minute one” in last weekend’s defeat at Brentford as the focus is on the Monday night football clash with Liverpool, live sky sports.
United were well beaten 4-0 by the Bees to drop them bottom of the Premier League table.
Ten Hag continued to criticize his players and that performance in his press conference on Friday.
“I was definitely not happy,” he said.
“The basics have to be good and that has to start with the right attitude.
“You need fighting spirit on the pitch and I didn’t see it from minute one.
“The players did not play well, many things went wrong. There is no need to talk about anything [tactical] when the attitude is not correct”.
Ten Hag added that he is aware of United’s intense rivalry with Liverpool and instructed his side to “act as a team” to gain confidence after a poor start to the season.
“I know the rivalry,” he said. “We are the rivals. We have to win every game, but especially this game. It starts with yourself.”
“Act as a team, follow results and principles and you get confidence from that.”
Ten Hag: Glazers wants to win
United are looking to kick-start their troubled campaign at a time of intense pressure on the Glazer family, the club’s owners.
Protests against the owners are planned before and during Monday’s clash with rival Liverpool and Sir Jim Ratcliffe has publicly declared his interest in buying the club.
When asked about the protests against the Glazer family, Ten Hag said: “I can only say that the owners want to win and the fans want them behind the club.”
“Sometimes I can understand, but I haven’t been at the club for so long that I can see all the background, but we have to fight together, so we have to be united and fight together.”
‘Ronaldo is still in our plans’
Anthony Martial has returned to training ahead of the match but his availability is unclear after injury, increasing the chances of Cristiano Ronaldo making a fresh start.
There is relentless speculation about the deranged star’s future, but Ten Hag is still counting on the 37-year-old for next season.
“I don’t know why he’s particularly focused after Saturday,” he said.
“It was the performance of the team and the attitude of the whole team, including Ronaldo.”
Pressed on whether he could guarantee Ronaldo would still be at United on September 2, Ten Hag added: “It’s in our plans, so that’s all I can say.”
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