'We can't deny it' - Erik ten Hag admits Manchester United have 'mental' issue after latest thumping at hands of Sevilla

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Erik ten Hag has conceded that his Manchester United side have a "mental" problem as they look to bounce back from a heavy defeat to Sevilla.
  • United crashed out of Europa League quarters
  • Ten Hag highlights "mentality" issue of side
  • Acknowledges big defeats in key matches

WHAT HAPPENED? With less than ten minutes to go of the first leg at Old Trafford, United were 2-0 up and cruising. But after shipping two calamitous late own-goals at home, Ten Hag watched his side struggle in the return leg in Seville on Thursday, as they lost 3-0 crashed out of the Europa League quarter-finals with a whimper. As they look to respond to that disappointment ahead of a FA Cup semi-final date with Premier League high-flyers Brighton, the Dutchman admitted that his players' mindset needs to improve.

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WHAT THEY SAID: "We can’t deny it, it’s mental, definitely," Ten Hag told reporters in Friday's press conference. "We have to learn that you keep going, you carry on, this team what they can do very well is bounce back in between games, what they can do less is bounce back during a game to a setback. That is what we have to improve."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Despite a Carabao Cup trophy and a near-certain Champions League finish to his name in his first season in charge, Ten Hag will likely still be haunted by the 7-0 demolition at Anfield back in early March. And with five goals shipped across two legs to Sevilla, who are in mid-table in La Liga, the Dutchman called on his side to do more defensively.

"You have to acknowledge, it’s the truth, we have to do better," he added. "I know that, I have to reach the players to do better in such circumstances, we deal better with such expectations, the demands on this team, we are Manchester United, they are high, we have to improve it, I have to reach the players and they have to step up."


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WHAT NEXT FOR UNITED? Despite Thursday's disappointment in Europe, the Red Devils are still on course for a second domestic trophy when they come up against Roberto De Zerbi's Brighton in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.