Manchester United ‘not good enough to be consistent’ – Erik ten Hag

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Manchester United ‘not good enough to be consistent’ – Erik ten Hag

Erik ten Hag believes his Manchester United squad is not “good enough to be consistent” following the home defeat to Bournemouth.

The result is United’s 11th loss of the season and came at the start of a week where they face a must-win Champions League group stage game against Bayern Munich before a trip to Liverpool in the Premier League — a ground where they lost 7-0 last season.

United produced one of their best performances of the season to beat Chelsea on Wednesday evening but were way off that level on Saturday afternoon with Bournemouth — the only current Premier League side who had not previously secured a top-flight win at Old Trafford — running out comfortable and deserving winners.

“I think, as a squad, we are not good enough to be consistent and we have to work as a squad to improve that,” Ten Hag said after the match.

“As a group, we have to improve, we have to get tougher, that we are ready for the game from the start. I said on Friday, it can’t be in this league if you are not playing on the highest levels, because you get killed.

“That’s what happened in the first five minutes and you make life easier for them, they have perfect conditions to play in. You see the team fighting, battling, put a lot of effort in for a long period but it can’t happen that you so easily concede a goal.”

Bournemouth were deserved winners at Old Trafford (Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)

When asked about his feelings over his side’s performance, Ten Hag replied: “Annoyed, disappointed, definitely. I expected something different, I hoped before the game we can build on the performance and result from Chelsea, so it’s very disappointing.”

Dominic Solanke gave the visitors the lead in the fifth minute with a cute finish from Lewis Cook’s cross and the former Chelsea striker hit the post later in the half as the visitors came close to doubling their advantage.

United rallied after the break but despite exerting pressure on Bournemouth’s defence, they were unable to carve out more opportunities and it was the away side who carried the greater goal threat.

That came to pass when Philip Billing doubled their advantage midway through the second period as he headed home from Marcus Tavernier’s delivery.

Five minutes later, Tavernier again provided the assist as Marcos Senesi leapt unmarked to head in a third goal against an abject home side.

It could have been even worse for Ten Hag’s side, but substitute Dango Outtara’s fourth goal in injury time was ruled out by VAR due to a handball in the buildup.

Pressed on his side’s lack of consistency, the United boss added: “I think we have to always be ready for the game and so I have to take the responsibility for that, I have to prepare the team so they are ready for the game.

“From my point of view I’m very disappointed the way we started and we have to be better. We are really inconsistent, we have the abilities to do it, but you have to do it every game and every third day.”

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The Briefing: Manchester United 0-3 Bournemouth: Ten Hag's toothless side outfought and outpressed

Danehouse Photography Ltd/Getty Images

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theathletic