Manchester United

Erik ten Hag encourages Man Utd players to 'criticise each other' after derby defeat

Tom Gott
Ten Hag was unimpressed
Ten Hag was unimpressed / Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

Erik ten Hag has warned his Manchester United players that they cannot hide from criticism in the wake of their Manchester derby defeat, even encouraging his squad to call each other out over their shortcomings.

United fell 6-3 to Pep Guardiola's Manchester City but the scoreline was more than a little flattering to the Red Devils, who were emphatically outplayed and fortunate not to have been on the wrong end of a seriously humiliating defeat.

Ten Hag has planned an inquest into the defeat on Monday, and after the loss, he confessed to MUTV that he wants his players to step up and criticise each other.

"It’s an open door; this performance is unacceptable," he said. "As a team and as individuals we will criticise each other tomorrow and then we will learn the lessons and we have to do better, starting the next game.”

Despite his obvious frustration, Ten Hag stressed he is determined to see the positives from the result - a reminder of the work United still have to do.

“I think it’s good that a team like City gives you the status where you are in this moment,” Ten Hag added. “It’s clear we did well against top teams like Liverpool and Arsenal, when we were disciplined and we followed the rules and principles, we had belief to play and we were on the front foot defending.

“Then you can bring a good performance and that can bring a result. When you don’t, when you are not on the front foot, when you are not brave to play, you get the result as today.”

The boss added: “The plan was to show bravery and confidence but we didn’t from the first minute. For the first goal we won the ball and could have created a great chance but instead we gave it easily away and then it was like a pack of cards.

“I criticised them, I told them [in the dressing room]. I made mistakes as well because I didn’t get the message through. With this lack of confidence, we cannot win games. I don’t think this attitude is Manchester United, we can be much more brave.

“We didn’t follow the rules and principles of the way we play and when you do that you get hammered. This performance was unacceptable. There are never excuses in top football, we have to bring results.”