Erik ten Hag gives scathing assessment of Manchester United's performance after City demolition
The former Ajax manager had a humbling experience of his first Manchester derby and the Dutchman will have to lift his beleaguered players.
Despite winning four Premier League games in a row, the gulf in class between the two sides was telling, and it highlighted the scale of the job the 52-year-old has on his hands.
Ten Hag has aspirations of knocking Manchester City off the top of the Premier League pyramid, but he would have been forgiven for feeling like he has to go back to the drawing board after today’s embarrassment.
Erik ten Hag gives scathing assessment of Manchester United’s performance after City demolition
It’s already the second time this season that Manchester United have gone in at half-time 4-0 down following the chastening afternoon at Brentford.
Speaking via BBC Sport after the City battering, Ten Hag said: “A lack of belief. I am surprised why we didn’t bring it on the pitch, I have seen a different team, spirit and we did not look convinced. I have to talk to my players and find out why.
“If you don’t fight – which we didn’t – you are going to have a problem v Manchester City. This is different to Brentford, that day we didn’t run. Today we wanted to run but there was a lack of belief.
“I will show the team tomorrow we could have been on the front foot. In the first goal, we won the ball and could have created a chance and gave it away. That is unacceptable.
“It is a process, when you are not concentrated against City you get hammered, that is what happened. You cause your own problems, you get hammered.
“I wanted to change the attitude of the team, we were braver in the second half, created chances and scored three goals. Only from mistakes you learn, we have to do better in the next game.
“All the credit to City but it is nothing to do with City, our performance was not good. As individuals, they were not convinced and did not support each other. A lack of fight and spirit in the team.
“There are also positives, but in this moment I can’t think like that. We let the fans down, we let ourselves down and I am hugely disappointed. We have to live with that and learn from it.