Home ยป Erik ten Hag gives damning assessment of his defence in Istanbul draw

Erik ten Hag gives damning assessment of his defence in Istanbul draw

by Alex Browne

Erik ten Hag has given a damning assessment of his team’s defensive capabilities after another shambolic performance in Europe.

Manchester United claimed their first draw of the season in a pulsating game in Istanbul.

However the result is a poor one considering the Mancunian side were 3-1 up and needed a win to take control of their own destiny in the group. Now, assuming Bayern beat FC Copenhagen later, the Old Trafford club has the unenviable task of needing to beat Bayern Munich and hoping the Danes and Galatasaray draw.

The Dutch coach lambasted another shambolic night’s work at protecting their own goal.

The coach told TNT Sports that “We’re winning and then we’re losing. We should have took three points clear”.

Speaking to the press after the game, the former Ajax manager claimed that the “defending is not good enough”. This seems somewhat of an understatement considering that the club have conceded 14 goals in five games. In fact, no English club have ever done this before in the Champions League.

The United manager boldly asserted that he believes his team will be successful long-term but must defeat Bayern to have any chance of progressing to the next round.

This theme was explored further as Ten Hag stated that “in the Champions League you get punished for those mistakes. We have to learn from this”.

The problem for Red Devils fans is the team doesn’t seem capable of learning. In four of the five games in Europe this season, the club’s defence has leaked like a sieve.

Even in the clean sheet at home against Copenhagen, the Danish side missed a couple of clear chances and a penalty in the last second of the encounter.

However, the coach was content with one aspect of his side’s work, at least publicly.

The Dutchman defiantly said, “we will fix that. I am pleased at how dynamic and brave the team was. We created so many chances especially at the end. Big chances. We played good football”.

Finally, the increasingly under pressure manager confessed that if the team were to go out, it would be his fault.

“I blame myself if we go out. Know we are in a project and we are improving. We are in the right direction. I know where we have to go, which steps to take and I’m sure we will be successful in the long term”.

All fans of the club will be hoping what he says is true and not just the naive optimism of a man who could soon be facing the first major questions of his suitability for the Old Trafford hotseat.

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