Erik ten Hag claims Man Utd individuals must ‘step up’ after Brighton loss

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag stressed individual performances must improve after a dispiriting 3-1 defeat to Brighton on Saturday.

Without a number of first-team regulars, Ten Hag switched to a 4-3-1-2 system and saw his team make a positive start before Danny Welbeck put the Seagulls ahead in the 20th minute on his return to Old Trafford.

Second-half strikes from Pascal Gross and Joao Pedro extended the visitors’ advantage to 3-0 before Hannibal Mejbri pulled one back with an effort from distance.

It’s the Red Devils’ second league defeat in a row and their third in five games this season, leaving them 12th in the English top flight.

Speaking after the loss, Ten Hag told MUTV: “The second goal was probably their second chance of the game. You have to deal with it and look at the team and who has the character, who is taking the lead, taking the initiative in this moment.

“It is difficult to deal with it but you have to do it. As I’ve said, stick to the plan, stick to the rules. You have to believe, you have to fight as a team and we will turn it [around].

“We have to improve, there are things for the team and the individuals, who have to step up. Sometimes, in those difficult periods, where we are now, you have to face that and you have to deal with that. In this moment, we don’t deal well with it but we showed that least year, the resilience and determination, also in defence, as you say.

“You will see the game. Did you see [us at] Arsenal? Did you see [us at] Spurs? They could have been the other way. We have to correct it by ourselves. We can’t blame anyone else. We have to do better, be more resilient and be more determined to get these wins.”

Erik ten Hag

Ten Hag and United have lost three of their five league games / Michael Regan/GettyImages

United’s schedule ramps up following the September international break, with their return to the Champions League up first with a trip to Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

Ten Hag added: “We have to fight back, stick together in this moment. It will pass away. It’s not coming but we have to work for it and we have to believe in it and then we will turn it [around].

“We have to analyse this game, see where we have to improve and then we go to the next opponents. It’s a different competition, in Europe, we are looking forward but it is a great opportunity.”

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