Erik Ten Hag knows Man Utd have ‘dropped in levels’ and need to improve fast

Erik Ten Hag admits Manchester United’s level of play since winning the Carabao Cup has been unacceptable.

The Red Devils take on Brentford on Saturday looking to avoid a run of three successive defeats for the second time this season.

But results had already tailed off at the end of the last campaign, with Ten Hag’s win percentage dropping from 69 per cent prior to the victory over Newcastle at Wembley to around 50 per cent since.

The positivity that had accompanied the Dutchman’s first season in charge has rapidly evaporated, and he said: “We dropped in levels. We have to get back to those levels.

Alejandro Garnacho (right) is consoled by team-mate Anthony Martial following the loss to Galatasaray
Alejandro Garnacho, right, is consoled by team-mate Anthony Martial following the loss to Galatasaray (Martin Rickett/PA)

United have endured another miserable week, with a Premier League loss to Crystal Palace followed by a 3-2 home defeat by Galatasaray in the Champions League, where goalkeeper Andre Onana again struggled.

Ten Hag believes his side are being punished for lapses, saying: “Consistency, that is the problem we are struggling with.

“In parts of the game, I will say in big parts of the game, we do a lot of things right but then there are moments where we are struggling and in such moments we can’t survive.

Marcus Rashford has only scored once this season
Marcus Rashford has only scored once this season (Richard Sellers/PA)

“Definitely you can mark such a moment as when we score a goal or concede a goal and when decisive moments go against us, we lose a bit as a team. Over big parts, in 95 per cent of the game, we are a team, so keep going all the way through and we have to step up.

“Most important in such moments is you keep on one page and it starts with communication.”

Rasmus Hojlund’s double against Galatasaray was the bright spot but Marcus Rashford again struggled.

The England forward has gone seven matches without a goal for club and country, with his only effort so far this season coming against Arsenal at the beginning of September.

Ten Hag has no doubt it is just a blip, though, saying: “It’s normal you are not always right at the same levels. Everyone knows the qualities of him and if Rashy does the things right and the team does, it’s up to him.

“We have seen in the last weeks he is coming in good positions, he is struggling, but it will pass. Everyone knows the qualities, everyone at Man United backs him, the whole team supports him and believes in him, I am sure with that it will change and this will pass.

“Strikers, when they don’t score for a moment, they need one goal, then they step over. When he is doing the right things, and he is doing the right things, the momentum will come and he will be on fire.”

Antony could make his return to Premier League action having coming off the bench against Galatasaray but Jadon Sancho remains out of the picture.

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