Erik ten Hag makes ‘damning’ admission after Man Utd’s draw with Brentford | Football

Brentford ‘wanted it more’ than Manchester United, according to Erik ten Hag (Picture: Getty)

Erik ten Hag claimed Brentford ‘wanted it more’ than his Manchester United players in the wake of the sides’ dramatic 1-1 draw at the Gtech Community Stadium.

Second-half substitute Mason Mount looked to have clinched United a smash-and-grab victory deep into stoppage time in west London, only for Kristoffer Ajer to find a 99th-minute equaliser at the other end of the pitch, rescuing a point for the hosts.

Remarkably, the Bees had 31 shots on Andre Onana’s goal across the match, compared to United’s measly tally of 11, but Thomas Frank’s men had to settle for a draw which meant they moved five points clear of the drop zone.

The Red Devils, meanwhile, remain stranded in sixth, 11 points adrift of fourth-placed Aston Villa, with Champions League qualification seemingly out of reach with nine games left of the top-flight campaign.

There remain major question marks over Ten Hag’s position at Old Trafford and United’s latest lacklustre performance will have done little to quieten the incessant speculation surrounding the Dutchman and his future.

Speaking to Sky Sports in his post-match interview, Ten Hag vowed to talk to United’s squad about their costly ‘mistakes’ throughout the game and suggested the home team ‘wanted it more’ than his players.

‘If you are winning, you should give it away. Normally, we are a strong side, we are very strong in such situations and we have to bring it over the line so that’s very disappointing,’ Ten Hag said.

Manchester United players

Ajer rescued a draw at the death for Brentford (Picture: Getty)

‘We made some mistakes and we have to talk about this, of course.

‘We should act different in that occasion where we conceded the equaliser, it was absolutely unnecessary.

‘But as I say, if you are in stoppage time and you make that goal, maybe we didn’t deserve but I have to make compliments for the team that they hung in the game and kept fighting, although I thought Brentford wanted it more during the whole course of the game.

‘But then you have to take it over the line.’

Mount thought he had won it in stoppage time for the Red Devils (Picture: Getty)

Asked how Brentford were able to make it so difficult for his United team, Ten Hag replied: ‘There are so many points to make.

‘I think in the final third we were not ball secure. We were also slow. Second balls, defending, we were not good.

‘They were more aggressive on such balls and they had more energy and that should be the other way around.’

Ten Hag cut a frustrated figure in the United dugout (Picture: Getty)

Ten Hag appeared to blame United’s lack of ‘rhythm’ on the disruption caused by the international break.

‘Even when we don’t play well we have to win the game and did almost. That is what disappoints me the most,’ the United head coach added.

‘I know always after the international break then the level with never be as high as before because they will be out of rhythm. They are going to different nations, different systems and they need minimum a half to get into our system and our way of playing.

‘As I say, when we don’t play so good we have to win and we almost won and that’s what disappoints me the most.’

United sit 11 points adrift of fourth-placed Villa (Picture: Getty)

Pressed on whether United were perhaps lacking experienced heads, Ten Hag responded: ‘We have many senior players.

‘We should all stand up and all take responsibility for this.’

Redknapp said Brentford than United were ‘better in every department’ (Picture: Getty)

Reflecting on the match in the Sky Sports studio, Jamie Redknapp said Ten Hag’s admission that Brentford’s players ‘wanted it more’ was particularly ‘damning’ and felt United were beaten ‘in every department’.

‘He said they wanted it more and whenever you hear a manager say that, that’s quite damning,’ the ex-Liverpool and England midfielder said.

‘And he says about “our way of playing” – I’ve watched Manchester United under Erik ten Hag and I don’t know what their way of playing is.

‘I don’t know whether they play out from the back. They try to do it at times, they pass the ball to the ‘keeper and he just lumps the ball up the pitch.

‘Do they do that for effect? I know they haven’t necessarily had the back four that they would like and if you’ve got Martinez and Varane as centre-back, or whatever he wants to do, it helps in building your play up, but I don’t know what the Manchester United way of playing is.

Redknapp added: ‘Brentford had so many opportunities today and they were just better in every single department.

‘There’s lots of talk about the manager, will he still be here next year? I think the way the players are playing right now and that kind of performance, they’re going to decide because they’re the kind of performances that get the manager the sack.

‘There was a lack of effort and if they really like this manager, if they want to play for him, they will do that. I saw so many players just walking around, strolling around and not looking like they care. They’re playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world.’

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