A topsy-turvy performance from Manchester United after throwing away a two-goal lead against Aston Villa in Perth. Erik ten Hag wasn’t happy with the drop of focus shown by his players after the interval.
The Red Devils played some brilliant football in the first half and then it turned sloppy in the second half.
United still remain unbeaten under Ten Hag on tour and face Atletico Madrid in Norway ahead of their last pre-season game against Villarreal at Old Trafford next week.
Speaking about what he told the United players after their draw against Villa, Ten Hag said (via Sky Sports): “That’s what I just said in the dressing room, a drop of focus is unacceptable but to the season I’m happy because now I can tell them it cannot happen.
“We have to get out of the dressing room and back in your plan and your focus and back to your performance and that is what we didn’t do.
“We had a lot of movement behind the defending line, scored two great goals so we were 2-0 up at half time, and then our focus dropped.
“It can be that the guys are tired but that’s not an excuse. They have to perform and it is what we didn’t do in the second half.”
The players can make these mistakes now as it’s pre-season, but if this is Ten Hag’s reaction after a friendly, I can only imagine how disappointed he’ll be if these players underwhelm next season. I don’t think that will be the case as there has been a lot of encouraging signs on tour this summer.
Ten Hag’s ultimate aim will be to get the players through the next two games without any injuries.
Hopefully, we’ll get to see Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez get some minutes under their belt.