manchester united manager erik ten hag

Ten Hag admits Man Utd ‘still have a long way to go’

Erik ten Hag has admitted Manchester United ‘still have a long way to go’ after they let a two goal lead slip against Sevilla this week.

Manchester United played some scintillating football at times during the first half against the Europa League giants, with Marcel Sabitzer giving the Red Devils an early two-goal lead.


Sevilla – who are languishing in 13th in La Liga – struggled to create many clear-cut opportunities but were handed a way back into the tie as Tyrell Malacia and Harry Maguire netted 84th and 92nd minute own goals.

United return to action against Nottingham Forest on Sunday afternoon, and Ten Hag was asked where his team are in their development.

“It’s the truth [we made sloppy mistakes]. We have to face that,” he told the media.

“I can’t say only the negatives about [the draw with Sevilla] because we played quite good football for a long time in the game but you also have to manage the game.

“If you want to win trophies you have to be smart, you have to stick to the plan and not allow an opponent to get back in the game. You can’t heat them up or allow them to put crosses in. You have to be aware that the game is over in 90, 95, 96 minutes.

“We still have a long way to go, I’m fully aware of it. The team has to know we need leaders in such moments. In many games, I’ve seen it, we have the passion and desire to bring tough games over the line but yesterday we didn’t. I see this affects momentum but the team has to learn from it, definitely.

“We will give the team that idea and we will give the team our evaluation. We have to talk about that: how we can avoid this and how we have to avoid this in the future.”

Asked if the players needed ‘convincing’ to follow his methods and philosophy, he said: “I think they already do [follow it]. They go in the direction we want.

“Yesterday, we dropped back and I know the team – we are human beings – we can make mistakes and we have to avoid it. Now, certain players have to step up for the team to control the standards.”

Read – Player Profile: Exciting Dutch right-back and Man United target Jeremie Frimpong

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