Soccer

Man Utd boss Ten Hag makes accusation and responds to Man City rivalry

ten Hag comments on Man Utd's January transfer plans

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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has accused some of his players of being lazy in the wake of their 3-0 win over Bournemouth on Tuesday night. Goals from Casemiro, Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford gave the Red Devils all three points at Old Trafford. Yet while they’re now just a point behind Manchester City, albeit having played one match more, the 52-year-old was keen to play down expectations ahead of that showdown on January 14.

Manchester United had gone into their match with Bournemouth hoping to continue their impressive form, having lost just one of their last 15 matches prior to kick-off.

And the Red Devils did exactly that, with Casemiro, Shaw and Rashford all on target to make it a comfortable night at the office.

While United dominated proceedings, however, they did have to rely on some brilliance from David De Gea between the sticks to ensure they keep a clean sheet.

And Ten Hag accused his players of being lazy in his press conference after the game, saying: “I think it [Old Trafford is a fortress] if you stay strong but we only stay strong if we do our jobs and we give 100 per cent in every situation.

“I had the feelings in the second half the game for some was easy going.

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“The game is never easy going and you saw the reaction of the opponents as they still believed in it.

“They could have made it 2-1 and then they are back in the game.”

Next up for United in the Premier League is City, who are hoping to win the title yet again this year despite Arsenal being in pole position.

Victory for the Red Devils would actually see them rise above their neighbours into second, at least temporarily, something few saw coming at the beginning of the campaign.

Yet Ten Hag was keen to play down expectations surrounding his side, stressing they must stick to the process and take each match as it comes.

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“That is a big step, no,” he said when asked about Pep Guardiola’s team and their slight advantage in the table.

“We have to go from game to game and keep the process. I think the belief is growing and that is a good signal, we have to keep that going.

“But we have to understand that we have to give 100 per cent in every game. 100 per cent energy, 100 per cent focus and play as a team.

“If we keep that philosophy then anything is possible, game to game.

“I don’t think too much ahead, it is only January and we are barely at half a season.

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“The next game is Everton [in the FA Cup on Friday] and it is a different competition, the focus is now on that and the turnaround is quick.

“We will be quick, 24 hours, and then we will re-focus.”

United star Shaw, meanwhile, also spoke out after the game and expressed a belief confidence was returning to Old Trafford after years of inconsistency.

“It was a really good result,” stated the England international.

“That is a big step, no,” he said when asked about Pep Guardiola’s team and their slight advantage in the table.

“We have to go from game to game and keep the process. I think the belief is growing and that is a good signal, we have to keep that going.

“But we have to understand that we have to give 100 per cent in every game. 100 per cent energy, 100 per cent focus and play as a team.

“If we keep that philosophy then anything is possible, game to game.

“I don’t think too much ahead, it is only January and we are barely at half a season.

“At times we got a bit sloppy and conceded chances but David [De Gea] was amazing and made a number of really good saves to keep that clean sheet and an important three points which we needed.

“I’ll play wherever the team needs me or the manager wants me. Back to left-back tonight and delighted to get on the score sheet. I don’t get many.

“The strides we are taking are going in the right direction that we want. There is still a lot to improve on but things are looking really good and positive and we feel like the belief and confidence is back, and you can feel it around the place, not just with the players and the staff but you can feel it in the stadium and around the fans.

“Hopefully they are enjoying it at the moment but I feel there is a lot more to come and hopefully we can keep putting smiles on people’s faces.”

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