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“Disappointed” – Erik ten Hag’s every word as Manchester United defeat Brighton (Premier League)



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Credit: Manchester United

Read every word from Erik ten Hag’s post-match press conference as Manchester United defeated Brighton in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.

Manchester United ended their 2023/24 Premier League season with a 2-0 victory over Brighton at the Amex Stadium. Diogo Dalot and Rasmus Højlund scored in the second half, giving Erik ten Hag’s team a final win. Despite this, United finished eighth in the league, marking their worst position in Premier League history.

The team now prepares for the FA Cup final at Wembley next weekend, where they will face Manchester City. With City having just won their fourth straight league title, United will be looking to spoil their rivals’ celebrations.

Read More: “Wonderful…” Ex-Premier League striker raves about Man United star after Brighton win

Below you can read every word from Ten Hag as he reacts to the win on the final day of the season.

First-half change

“The first half, we were not 100 per cent in control. We have seen that. We had to face some chances from Brighton but, after half-time, when we changed something in our way of play, then we got more control. We were better defending, the organisation and pressing, and also kept the ball better and got movements in for the ball behind where, in the first half, it was too static. What did we change? We swapped our no.6s [Kobbie Mainoo and Sofyan Amrabat] from the side, left and right, that was important and also, in the right side, we had a lot of problems defending Joao Pedro in the first half. After half-time, we got in control and were better on the ball and had movements. You see with the first goal, we got movement in behind.”

A must-win game

“We had to win this game. Of course, for our belief. Of course, we also need the points for the rankings but it was not in our hands. We want to lift our levels. We’ve got players returning and it’s important they’re fit for the final but also to return to some patterns. I think it’s clear to see that, once we had players back in their positions, when we have original defenders available, again our levels are increasing.”

Finishing eighth was not good enough

“It’s difficult but we’ve talked before over this and it was a very tough season for us. We know it’s not good enough, by far. Simple. There are reasons but, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. It’s United. You have to finish higher and this is not good enough. We know the competition is tough. We have 60 points, two years ago, it was 58 and were sixth and, now, 60 and eighth. But it is not good enough. We’re disappointed.” 

The amazing fans

“They are amazing. I don’t know what to say. There are no words. If you have a season like we have had, and they stick with us. In the good times and the bad times, and we have to pay them back. We have the best fans in the world. I mean this. We have to do everything to give the a trophy next week and also, for the future, we have to perform better.”

Fantastic Dalot

“It is about making overloads in midfield and, from there on, he is a very good runner in behind, he can do it from left and right full-back. He can attack from there but also in the centre areas and on wide areas, by bringing crosses in. He is a player who has developed as a full-back, and not as just as a full-back, but also as an inverted one too. I think his development has been very good this season and we are very pleased with him.”

Overcoming injuries

“This season, especially in the backline, in the second half of the season, there were so many injuries. Especially in the centre-half positions and the left-back position. All the time, we have to adjust there and make compromises that were no good for our level. No good for the results. Everyone has seen this. It’s good we go into the cup final and players are returning, they are desperate to return. We have one week to be 100 per cent fit and put out a competitive team for the cup final. I’m sure we’ll get that.”

The Wembley challenge

“It’s fantastic. A cup final. Such a great event. As a kid, you want to take part in this and get a look at it. Everyone is really excited to lift this cup. We still have a good opportunity, going to the final is a huge achievement and, if you’re in a final you want to win. It’s all about trophies and we have an opportunity to lift the cup. It’s all about winning trophies and, as a result of it, we need to be in Europe and it is our last opportunity.”