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Ten Hag admits Manchester United have a mental problem and backs ‘essential’ Maguire



Erik ten Hag, manager of Manchester United, has stated that his team has a mental problem following their humiliating Europa League defeat against Sevilla.

Both teams battled out a dramatic 2-2 draw in the first leg of the quarter-finals at Old Trafford, with Manchester United surrendering a two-goal lead as Sevilla came back to secure a draw.

The Red Devils then suffered a humiliating 3-0 defeat in the second leg against the La Liga strugglers, which was enough to see them exit the continental campaign, losing 5-2 on aggregate.

Ten Hag could not disguise his disappointment at the setback, but his team has no time to heal their wounds with another crucial FA Cup semi-final against Brighton & Hove Albion on the horizon.

When asked if the Manchester United squad has a mental health problem, the Dutch tactician responded (via The Athletic): “We can’t deny it – it’s definitely mental.” We must learn to keep going, to keep going.

“This team is very good at bouncing back in between games.” What they can’t do is recover from a setback during a game. That is what we need to work on.”

Man United were knocked out of Europe by goals from Youssef En-Nesyri (who scored twice) and Loic Bade, although the initial goal was undoubtedly Harry Maguire’s fault.

Ten Hag has preferred the pairing of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez over the England international this season.

However, with Varane and Martinez out, the former Leicester City man has started Man United’s previous two games, but his return has been met with criticism.

Despite his poor showing in Spain, boss Ten Hag backed the Manchester United captain, stating that the centre-back is a crucial element of his side.

“He (Maguire) has an important role – he is the captain,” Ten Hag explained. “He takes the initiative, communicates with the manager, and motivates the team.” He’s always a wonderful example on the training field.”

Man United still has a chance to win another trophy this season, as a spot in the FA Cup final is up for grabs in Sunday’s game.

The Red Devils, on the other hand, will need to shake off their humiliating dip in Spain and bring their A-game against a Brighton side that is currently on a near-exceptional run of form.

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