Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has revealed what he told his players in the dressing room after the draw against Aston Villa.
Man United finished their pre-season tour with a disappointing 2-2 draw against Villa in Perth earlier today.
Jadon Sancho opened the scoring midway through the first half after connecting to Luke Shaw’s cross. On the stroke of half-time, Marcus Rashford‘s volley was deflected into the back of the net by Matty Cash.
Shortly after the second half, Leon Bailey pulled a goal behind following a brilliant finish from the edge of the penalty box.
United failed to continue with the same intensity as the first half in the second half and as a result, they lost control of the game and which eventually led to a disappointing last-minute equaliser from Aston Villa‘s Calum Chambers.
Erik ten Hag told his players in the dressing room that losing their focus on the game is unacceptable and also concedes that his players need to improve on their defending.
“That’s what I just said in the dressing room, a drop of focus is unacceptable but to the season I’m happy because now I can tell them it cannot happen,” Ten Hag told The Athletic.
“We had a lot of movement behind the defending line, scored two great goals, and then our focus dropped. It can be that the guys are tired but that’s not an excuse. They have to perform and it is what we didn’t do in the second half.
“Football is a sport of mistakes and we have to decrease the mistakes. That’s clear, but I have seen a lot of progress in these two weeks.”
Manchester United were excellent in the first half. They played with intensity and made several recoveries inside Aston Villa’s half.
Erik ten Hag was pleased with his side’s performance in the first 45 minutes but urged his squad to learn from the mistake they made in the second half.
“In the first half I saw really good football, really controlling and dominating the game, but we have to learn from what happened in the second half. It’s not possible that you go 2-0 and then throw it away,” the Dutchman added.