Erik ten Hag furiously blasts his Man United players after their Europa League exit against Sevilla
- United withered at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan losing 5-2 on aggregate
- Youssef En-Nesyri capitalised on a Maguire mistake and punished De Gea’s slip
- ‘We have to do better, that’s the demand,’ the United manager told BT Sport
Erik ten Hag blasted the lack of fight in his Manchester United players after they crashed out of Europe to Sevilla on Thursday night.
United lost 3-0 at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan as they made a sorry exit from the Europa League quarter-finals 5-2 on aggregate.
Harry Maguire and David de Gea were singled out for criticism after Sevilla striker Youssef En-Nesyri struck twice, but Ten Hag was furious with the performance and attitude of all his players.
‘We have to face that we let ourselves down and we let the fans down,’ said the United manager. ‘If you want to win trophies, if you want to be successful, you need character.
‘We have to be better. It’s not about playing skills. It’s about character, to be composed, to have desire and passion. Sevilla had more willingness to win, and that can’t be. I think it’s unacceptable.
‘We lost the battles. Sevilla had more passion, more desire, more willingness, and that’s difficult to win games.
‘The players have to perform. I believe in them and trust them, but they have to show it and they were not good enough.
‘We have shown on so many occasions good things but tonight we weren’t ready for the game. At this level, playing for Manchester United, you have to be ready for every game.
‘This was a great opportunity, a great occasion, to win something and we gave it away. We have to blame ourselves. It’s gone, we can’t change it.’
However, Ten Hag sprang to De Gea’s defence adding: ‘He’s the one with the most clean sheets in the Premier League, and that shows he’s a very capable goalkeeper.’
United must now pick themselves up for Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Brighton at Wembley.
‘We have to look forward to Sunday, that’s the next opportunity,’ said Ten Hag.
‘We showed in the past we can quickly bounce back. We have done it many times this season, but we have to start games better with more desire and more composure on the ball.
‘When you get the setback you have to deal with it and carry on. I had this question many times, after Manchester City (6-3), after Liverpool (7-0) and after Brentford (4-0), and every time we bounce back.
‘This team has character and mental skills, but sometimes we are not there. I think we have to accept that now. Everyone can see the demands and standard has to be higher in a club like Manchester United.’
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