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Erik ten Hag gives Man City compliment with honest assessment of Manchester United rebuild

Published on: 02 October 2022

Erik ten Hag has admitted Machester City have shown how much progress Manchester United have truly made in recent weeks.

After two embarrassing defeats against Brighton and Brentford at the start of the season, United won four successive Premier League matches, a run which included wins over Liverpool and Arsenal, and it seemed like Ten Hag's side had turned a corner.

Although the good feeling had returned to Old Trafford, City gave United a reality check in the Manchester derby. United were humiliated in a 6-3 defeat and the scoreline did not reflect the dominance of Pep Guardiola's side.

United scored three goals in the second half, but the result was never in doubt for City, who dominated the fixture throughout. After the game, Ten Hag was asked about the Reds' performance, which was a significant regression, and he reluctantly admitted that City had revealed where United actually are in terms of making progress under his leadership.

“I don’t see it as gone [the good feeling]. You express that as if it’s definitive but it isn’t,” Ten Hag told MUTV. “Today, they didn’t bring the belief on the pitch. It was possible to play and we didn’t hold the ball, we gave easy balls away, we make many wrong decisions.

"When out of position, we weren’t on the front foot, which is what I always expect from my team and today, they didn’t. He [Martial] had a really good pre-season and I’m happy for him to score the goals and also for Antony to score a goal.

"We had some more opportunities, but at this moment, I can’t express positives to the outside world. We are highly disappointed with this result and that has to be the tone for this Sunday. Our performance was unacceptable.

"As a team, as individuals, we will criticise each other tomorrow and we have to learn the lessons, do better and that’s starting next game. A team like City, they give you the status of where you are at this moment.

"We did well against top teams like Liverpool and Arsenal, we were disciplined, following the rules and principles, and we had belief, on the front foot defending. When you’re not front foot, when you’re not brave enough to play, you get a result like today.”


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