'I miss the desire and passion' - Erik ten Hag urges Man Utd to rekindle early season hunger after 'getting killed' by Newcastle
- Ten Hag says team must show hunger
- Players returned to 'bad habits' at Newcastle
- Looking for a response against Brentford
WHAT HAPPENED? The Dutchman said his players showed little desire during the 2-0 defeat at St James' Park and called on them to rekindle the passion that was on display for most of the campaign and has helped them challenge for a top-four spot and win the Carabao Cup.
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WHAT THEY SAID: "Of course, you have to match certain standards and I know in the season [standards] not only go way up, you will have fluctuations, but you have to know why you are where you are and what bring us in the position and that was about determination, passion, desire and I miss that," Ten Hag said. "When you have a strong opponent who play above the [usual] levels as many teams do against Manchester United then you get killed and we did on Sunday."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Despite an overall positive first season under Ten Hag, United have had their fair share of abject defeats, such as losing 4-0 to Brentford, 6-3 to Manchester City and 7-0 to Liverpool. Memories of those losses came flooding back as they were dominated by Newcastle.
AND WHAT'S MORE: The Dutchman admitted the team still had a tendency to slip back to their old ways, before their resurgence in form and results. "Sunday we return to bad habits and you get hammered and they know this, the players know this and they talk with each other and they know this is not the standard for a Manchester United team," he said. "We are in the right position. We had a bad start to the season. You go to Newcastle and deliver this, far below the standards we can expect."
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WHAT NEXT? United host Brentford in the Premier League on Wednesday.