Erik Ten Hag has blamed the fixture schedule for his team’s performance agaist Tottenham on Thursday night.
Ten Hag claims Manchester United have “the worst schedule in the Premier League” this season.
Despite that he says his team cannot use it as an excuse for throwing away a two-goal lead at Spurs.
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Just four days after Manchester United played 120 minutes plus penalties to beat Brighton in the FA Cup semi-final, United led 2-0 at Spurs thanks to Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford’s first-half goals. But that advantage vanished as strikes from Pedro Porro and Heung-Min Son levelled the game.
“We have the worst schedule also in the Premier League, that will not change,” said Ten Hag when asked if tiredness played a factor in his side’s slip-up”, Ten Hag said.
“You have to take that. You can’t use it as an excuse. The time is enough time to recover, so our players are in demand to be ready. Today they were not ready.
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“We thought 90 per cent is enough, that’s why we gave balls away. And when you don’t do your jobs in positioning, you concede goals.
“After half time there was a difference, we lost control because we are not all secure. Then you have to go into the fight. When you lose the battles, don’t have possession and don’t have chances you concede goals. That’s what happened. Then you have to be satisfied and take that point.
“It has to be 100 per cent. You have to bring it every time. I know that they are not robots and it’s a tough schedule. But we can’t accept it when you are playing for Man Utd and you are wearing this shirt.
“You have to give 100 per cent in every occasion, every game. And as a team, you have to manage the game, get the win, and that makes everyone happy and satisfied.
“But the basis is always to give everything, and that’s how you have to prepare as a player, that you are ready for the game, for the battle, for the fight.”
Ten Hag also defended his substitutions when United were 2-1 up and hanging onto their lead. Anthony Martial, Fred, Wout Weghorst and Tyrell Malacia all came on to little effect as United tried to see out the game.
“I prepared the subs already before 2-1, you could see that goal coming,” he said.
“You bring on Fred, who has energy, one who can win the ball. Sunday against Brighton he was brilliant in that.
“You bring Martial who can keep the ball. You then bring Rashy, Antony, Bruno making runs behind. That was the idea.”