Ten Hag: Utd lacked ‘passion’ and ‘fight’ in draw

Manchester United lacked “passion” and “fight” in their 1-1 draw with Brentford, according to manager Erik ten Hag.

United were outplayed for most of the game at the Gtech Community Stadium on Saturday and were fortunate to take the lead in the 96th minute thanks to substitute Mason Mount.

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Brentford, though, scored a deserved equaliser through Kristoffer Ajer in the 99th minute and afterwards Ten Hag admitted his team had not been good enough.

“We showed resilience all through the game but in points of aggressiveness Brentford were better,” said Ten Hag.

“We should show more passion and desire in many moments in the game. But when you are winning [so late on] you should bring it over the line.

“We didn’t play well but there was spirit, there was fight, but not enough.”

The result damaged United’s hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League, particularly after Aston Villa and Tottenham — sitting fourth and fifth in the table, respectively — both won their games earlier in the day.

“Still there are many games to go, but of course the points will be more expensive by the end,” said Ten Hag.

“There should have been three, but now it’s only one and by the end we will know how it can work out, but it can be a big point at the end.”

United next face Chelsea and Liverpool and despite Brentford having 31 shots, Ten Hag dismissed the suggestion his team are too open at the back.

United have now conceded 20 or more shots in nine of their last 11 games.

“I explained it, we defended low at times and because Brentford are very direct we lost many many second balls and we had to defend the box,” said Ten Hag. “We had a great goalkeeper [André Onana], he was brilliant tonight, we have to say that also.

“Our results are quite consistent from January on. We concede shots, but we don’t concede so many goals.”


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