Ten Hag commends Man Utd resilience following challenging beginning against Forest
The manager of Manchester United, Erik ten Hag, expressed his disbelief at his team’s quick concession of two goals against Nottingham Forest but commended the players for their resilience in the 3-2 victory on Saturday.
The start of the season for United has been less than impressive, and it seemed like it would continue in that vein when Taiwo Awoniyi scored just 90 seconds into the match after a corner for Forest. Shortly after, Willy Boly capitalized on an unmarked position from Morgan Gibbs-White’s free-kick to make it 2-0.
Ten Hag commented, “With all due respect to Forest, we cannot afford to give away such easy goals. It’s quite baffling, but sometimes games unfold in this manner.” United had previously suffered a 2-0 defeat against Tottenham and narrowly escaped with a 1-0 win against Wolves at home.
However, United managed to regain their composure and secure their second victory in three games. Cristian Eriksen initiated the comeback by converting Marcus Rashford’s cross, while Casemiro equalized from Bruno Fernandes’ header.
Forest’s chances were further diminished when Joe Worrall received a red card for denying Fernandes a clear goal-scoring opportunity. United took full advantage of their numerical superiority, with Fernandes converting a penalty in the 76th minute after Rashford was fouled in the area.
Ten Hag praised his team’s character, stating, “Despite the horrendous start, the team’s resilience was commendable. We remained composed and stuck to our game plan, playing attractive football and scoring three fantastic goals. It was a remarkable comeback.”
He continued by saying, “This victory is a significant statement. It proves that this team has the ability to recover from setbacks. Overcoming such a shaky start is challenging, but credit to the team. We possess the necessary mentality. There are moments where we can improve, but overall, this team consistently bounces back.”
Fernandes, who has faced criticism for his negative body language towards his teammates as the club captain, led the fightback and emphasized the need for more consistent performances from United.
“We understand the responsibilities that come with being a Manchester United player. The demands of this badge are high, and we are prepared for that,” Fernandes stated. “The team displayed tremendous spirit, passion, and desire. However, we need to be more cautious about conceding early goals. Although it wasn’t a perfect start for us, we maintained control, held possession, and executed the right strategies.”