Good morning, Manchester United fans
Erik ten Hag claims losing to Brighton shows he has a ‘hell of a job’ AND needs Cristiano Ronaldo.
And United skipper Harry Maguire blamed a ‘nightmare first half’ for the ‘worst possible start’ to the season.
Pascal Gross’ double set up Brighton’s well-deserved 2-1 win before wantaway sub Ronaldo inspired some improvement from the struggling Red Devils.
But United’s growing pressure brought only Alexis Mac Allister’s own goal in reply.
New bos Ten Hag said: “It’s definitely a set-back. It’s a real disappointment and we have to deal with it.
“We gave two easy balls away and the organisation was a big mistake.
“We have to take the lessons and learn quickly from it. We don’t have time and we have to deliver.”
Ten Hag believes United clicked better once Ronaldo came on and debutant Christian Eriksen retreated into a deeper midfield role.
And centre-back Maguire said: “We started well and had control of the game. Then we conceded the first goal and that knocked us badly.
“We stopped playing from then. We need to look at not letting that first goal set us back as much as it did. But we have to be better on the ball.”
But pundits like Old Trafford legends Paul Scholes and Roy Keane, plus fans on social media, slated midfield pairing Fred and Scott McTominay.
Meanwhile, Marko Arnautovic’s brother appears to have confirmed United have come in for the 33-year-old Bologna striker.
Journalist Andreas Heidenreich says Danijel Arnautovic told him: “It’s true that there’s a bid from a well-known club.”
Finally, Ten Hag reportedly “appreciates” the talent of PSV Eindhoven winger Cody Gakpo, who has also been linked to Arsenal and Leeds.