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HomeSportErik ten Hag makes worrying Man Utd admission after Red Devils crash...

Erik ten Hag makes worrying Man Utd admission after Red Devils crash to Brighton defeat


Erik ten Hag admitted his Manchester United players are lacking self-belief as they struggle to shake off last season’s hangover. The new United boss conceded the after-effects of a miserable campaign were to blame for a disappointing opening day defeat against Brighton.

“I can understand that after last year but it is not necessary – they are good players. They are and have proved so many times in the past so they will do it in the future,” he said.

United were poor in the first half conceding twice in nine minutes from the half-hour mark, both goals converted by Pascal Gross. They were better in the second period – Alexis Mac Allister pressured into an own goal which halved the deficit – but did not create enough.

“It was a good start and then after we dropped down a level and make mistakes and they punished us,” said Ten Hag. “We have to give them self-belief. We are not happy in this game and we will take the lessons and move forward.”

Ten Hag said he would have played with a central striker had Anthony Martial or Cristiano Ronaldo been fully fit but ended up playing Cristian Eriksen as a false nine.

United are hoping to give themselves another striking option by bringing former West Ham striker Marko Arnautovic, 33, in from Bologna. It is understood if a deal is done that he will be a squad player acting as back-up to Ronaldo and Martial.

Graham Potter meanwhile praised his Brighton squad for shrugging off the loss of two star team-mates and posting a first ever win at Old Trafford.

Brighton lost Yves Bissouma to Tottenham and Marc Cucurella to Chelsea for a combined £84million. But it did not stop them posting a first victory on the road against United to give their new manager Ten Hag a nightmare start.

“To lose the quality we have has an impact but the players were calm,” said Potter. “Bissouma and Marc Cucurella are valued at such high prices that suggests they are good players.

“I have a fantastic group of players with ambition who give everything every day. It is not easy to lose the players we’ve lost but the collective idea is more important than any individual.”

A double first half strike from Pascal Gross proved enough to register Brighton’s first win at Old Trafford in 14 attempts. Potter added: “You can see how many times we have won here as a club, it is not easy so when you do get the three points it is nice to celebrate with the fans.

The Brighton boss was also keen to put a fair share of the praise at the feet of Danny Welbeck, who led his front line brilliantly. “He was amazing today,” said the Brighton boss.

“He has really enjoying his football and has had the best pre season and really fit. It is hard to single out anybody but it was a great day for Danny.”



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