no excuses | 

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag with a warning to his players

United boss expecting a response against Liverpool.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag set to face Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp© Getty Images

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag has warned his players that they cannot repeat their performance in last weekend’s 4-0 defeat against Brentford, as he admitted they “didn’t show fighting spirit from minute one” in the drubbing.

Speaking to Sky Sports duo Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher, Ten Hag was honest in his assessment of United’s horrible start to the seaso and insisted he expected more in the game against Liverpool on Monday night.

"I was definitely not happy," he said. "The basic stuff has to be good and that has to start with the right attitude.

"You need fighting spirit on the pitch and I didn't see it from minute one. The players didn't play good, a lot went wrong. You don't have to talk about anything [tactical] when the attitude is not right."

Asked about the protests against the Glazer family, United boss Ten Hag said: “I can only say the owners want to win and the fans we want them behind the club.

“I can understand sometimes but I am not that long in the club that I can see all the backgrounds, but we have to fight together so we have to be unified and fight together.”

United start the week bottom of the Premier League after their 2-1 home defeat to Brighton was compounded by last weekend’s 4-0 humbling at Brentford.

“I think I made myself clear I was definitely not happy,” Ten Hag said.

“In football you can talk about football, you can talk about the plan out of philosophy but the basic stuff has to be good.

“That starts with the right attitude, so you need a fighting spirit on the pitch and I didn’t see that from minute one. I think it’s basic. You have to bring it in every game on the pitch and of course especially Monday night.”

Anthony Martial has returned to training ahead of a game but his availability is unclear after injury, increasing the chances of Ronaldo starting again.

There is unrelenting speculation about the wantaway star’s future but Ten Hag is still counting on the 37-year-old for the season ahead.

“I don’t know why he’s particularly in focus after Saturday,” he said.

“It was the team performance and the whole team’s attitude, including Ronaldo.”

Pushed on if he could guarantee Ronaldo will still be at United on September 2, Ten Hag added: “He’s in our plans, so that’s what I can say.”

Meanwhile, cheeky Irish bookmaker Paddy Power have already paid out on Ten Hag being the first Premier League manager to be sacked this season, as odds tumble on him losing his job in double quick time.

They have also released a video featuring former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch that will give you a chuckle ahead of this weekend’s Premier League action.

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