Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag confirmed on Friday that his team needs to strengthen its mental toughness and learn to overcome the obstacles it faces during matches after exiting the European League.
Ten Hag added that the team had the ability to deal with setbacks from game to game but had difficulty getting back into action if things did not go according to plan, especially after losing 3-0 to Sevilla in the second leg of the Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday.
Ten Hag told reporters before Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Brighton & Hove Albion, “We can’t deny it, the problem is definitely mental. We must learn to keep striving and overcoming stumbling blocks.”
“What this team is good at doing is getting back on the right path between matches, but it is less able to overcome setbacks that happen in one game. We have to improve that,” he said.
A mistake by Harry Maguire led to an early first goal scored by Sevilla and the United captain’s performance came under scrutiny again after the team exited the competition 5-2 on aggregate.
Ten Hag said the 30-year-old defender remains an important component of the team.
He added, “He plays an important role. He is the leader. He leads the team, communicates with the coach and motivates the team. He sets an example in the training ground.”
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