Erik ten Hag believes there is one problem above all else that Manchester United have struggled with so far this season.
The Red Devils have lost six of their opening ten games in all competitions this term, including two successive defeats in the group stages of the Champions League.
Several of United‘s best players have underperformed this season, while individual errors have contributed to their downfall. United have often started games well but been unable to finish their chances, and have wilted once the opposition score.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of Saturday’s visit of Brentford, Ten Hag admitted there is one key area his side aren’t dealing with well enough.
“Consistency, that is the problem we are struggling with,” the Dutchman proclaimed. “In parts of the game, I will say in big parts of the game, we do a lot of things right but then there are moments where we are struggling and in such moments we can’t survive.
“In this moment, you have to do the right things, so be consistent and do the job, be consistent in the communication, and when you do that you keep the right organisation and do it like before.
“Definitely you can mark such a moment as when we score a goal or concede a goal and when decisive moments go against us, we lose a bit as a team. Over big parts, in 95 per cent of the game, we are a team, so keep going all the way through and we have to step up.
“Most important in such moments is you keep on one page and it starts with communication.”
One player who has particularly failed to meet the standards expected of them is Marcus Rashford, who broke the 30-goal mark for the first time in his career last season but has found the net only once in nine games this season.
“Of course, everyone knows the qualities of him, but also the opposition knows the qualities [of him]. But if Rashy is doing the things right and the team is doing the things right, we will put him in the right places and then it is up to him,” Ten Hag said of Rashford.
“We have seen in the last [few] weeks that he is coming in the good positions, now he is struggling, but this will pass because everyone knows his qualities.
“Everyone at Man Utd supports him and the whole team is supportive to him, believes in him. So I am sure, with that confidence and belief, that the team is behind him. This will change and it will pass.
“Strikers, when they don’t score for a moment, they need that one goal, then they step over [it].
“It will come and he is so experienced, he knows that as well. When he is doing the right things and the team is doing the right things, that momentum will come and he will be on fire.”
What we know
- Man Utd return to Premier League action this weekend at home to Brentford
- Red Devils have lost six of ten games this season
- Erik ten Hag reveals key weakness he is trying to address.