Erik Ten Hag was pleased with the return of passion and desire in a narrow victory over Brentford
Erik ten Hag urged Manchester United to be flawless as they reclaimed control of their Champions League ambitions.
Marcus Rashford’s winner was enough to give Manchester United their first Premier League victory since February 19 and a response to Sunday’s humiliating defeat at Newcastle United.
However, Thomas Frank was left regretting substitute Kevin Schade’s huge missed chance, which came after the on-loan striker nipped in front of Raphael Varane, and Ten Hag is wary of defensive lapses. United, according to the Dutchman, still have room for improvement.
‘We got over the line because there was passion and desire that was missing on Sunday,’ Ten Hag said. ‘Mistakes can occur when you lose focus. We want to play as a machine, making no mistakes. We made one mistake, which fortunately did not benefit them.
‘We are not where I want us to be. Sunday was not an option. This is not United, and it does not meet our standards. There is a certain mentality that must be present, and when one or two [players] fail to do so, you have a problem.
‘We had to recover, and we did. I was impressed with how we played in the first half against a very tough opponent – especially against top teams.’
Frank stated in the build-up that the trip to Old Trafford would be Brentford’s most difficult assignment of the season.
When asked if that was the case, the manager said, ‘The simple answer is no. It’s a good representation of how far we’ve come. We’re disappointed, which is absurd considering we’re playing Manchester United.
‘Every now and then, we need to remind ourselves who we are and what we have done. We didn’t take the biggest chance of the game, and we didn’t perform to our full potential.’
Meanwhile, Ten Hag was unable to provide an injury diagnosis for Luke Shaw, who limped off before halftime.