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Ten Hag: We need to reset and move on

6 Mar 2023
Erik Ten Hag LIVMUN

Man Utd manager is looking for an immediate response following Anfield defeat

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Erik ten Hag was forthright and furious in his analysis of Manchester United's 7-0 defeat at Liverpool, branding his players "unprofessional". But the Dutchman is confident of a positive reaction when they host Southampton on Sunday.

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Last season, when United were beaten 5-0 at Old Trafford by Liverpool, their manager at the time, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, gave his players the following day off.

If past behaviour is anything to go by, Ten Hag is likely to take a different approach entirely.

After the 4-0 loss at Brentford in August in only his second match in charge, Ten Hag's response was to cancel a planned day off and made his team compensate for running eight-and-a-half miles fewer than their opponents during the match by making them cover the same distance in temperatures of over 30 degrees. 

It paid off as they beat Liverpool 2-1 at Old Trafford in the next Premier League match. 

"This team is strong enough to go, reset itself, and we will bounce back"

Erik ten Hag, Man Utd manager

His reaction to Sunday's Anfield defeat was to bring United's first-team squad in for a full debrief at 09:00 GMT at their Carrington training base.

"We will bounce back," Ten Hag told manutd.com. "This team is strong enough to go, reset itself, and we will bounce back.

"I know my players, they are good characters, and they can bounce back and they will do.

"The second half was unprofessional. It can’t happen and we have to talk about it. It was not about one or two players. It was the whole team, you saw 11 individuals losing their heads.

"That is unprofessional, that is not Manchester United. We have other standards, these were not the standards we want to show."

Certainly, United have form in bouncing back, having won the next Premier League match after each of their last four defeats in the competition.

See: How have clubs reacted after their worst Premier League loss?

Sunday's loss was a blow to United's title hopes and they now sit 14 points behind leaders Arsenal, but having played one match fewer.

United face Real Betis in the UEFA Europa League last-16 first leg at Old Trafford on Thursday before hosting Southampton, and former United striker Michael Owen believes Ten Hag will get the desired response.

"He's going to be telling his players it's one result," Owen says.

"It was poor, it was unprofessional, in his words. He'll be saying that for the next day or two and once that's done, it's 'OK, it's three points, we've just lost one game, let's move on.'

"They have made loads of progress under Ten Hag and they cannot afford to let one result derail them."

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