Erik ten Hag has openly admitted his lack of understanding regarding the reasons behind Manchester United’s extensive goal concession during their unstable beginning to the season.
In the previous Premier League season, United boasted the highest number of clean sheets among all teams. However, in the current season, they have allowed 14 goals in six matches across all competitions.
Their defensive struggles continued as Bayern Munich netted four goals on Wednesday, following two consecutive 3-1 losses to Arsenal and Brighton.
“We have shown that we can do it because last year we had the most clean sheets in the Premier League because we defended very good as a team so we have to get back to those standards,” Ten Hag told a news conference on Friday.
“I am pushing the team and demanding from the team at the start of the season, but they are human beings, not robots so why they are not doing it, I try to find out and I try to get and give the solutions and I try to motivate the players to do the job.”
Erik ten Hag has overseen a disappointing start to his second season as Manchester United manager.
When asked whether he knew the reasons behind this season’s poor defensive record, Ten Hag said “no” but insists it is not because of a lack of “spirit” among the players.
“When you are in a period like we are in, you always, as a manager you are asking yourself these questions,” he said.
“My job is to get them to do the job. You can see if we bounced back like we did in Munich; you can’t say the spirit isn’t right. I think we have other problems than that.”
United have managed to secure just one clean sheet this season, which occurred during a 1-0 victory over Wolves on the opening weekend. In contrast, they have allowed at least two goals in each of their other five matches.
Erik ten Hag, who has been seeking his first win in almost a month, is now directing his attention towards addressing the team’s vulnerable defense as they prepare to face Burnley on Saturday at Turf Moor.
“As a manager you have many tools and I make sure I use them,” he added.
“I will not say all because there are many ways to do it. You have to be creative you have to be innovative, but you can be sure I use many. You do it in groups, in teams, individually, you do it over video, you do it in personal talks. You have many tools to coach to make sure the team is in the right direction.”