Manchester United boss Erik Ten Hag has revealed the team isn’t thinking about the Premier League title after their 2-1 derby win against Manchester City at Old Trafford on Saturday. The Red Devils stunned City after a fine performance on their home turf.
After this win, United is now in fourth place in the standings but has one more game in hand than Newcastle United, who are in third position. The club is still nine points away from table-toppers Arsenal. United had lost their opening two matches of the season but they have been able to turn the tables under the tutelage of the Dutchman.
The gaffer added the fans could dream but they need to be realistic in their approach. ETH believes they still need to improve a lot in their game.
Meanwhile, United came from 1-0 behind to bag three crucial points against City. Jack Grealish had put the visitors in front but the home team bounced back after a controversial goal from Bruno Fernandes and subsequently Marcus Rashford scored the winner.
“The fans may dream but we’re not,” Ten Hag said. “We have to keep our feet on the ground and then face that our game has a lot to improve.”
The Dutchman was unhappy with the fact that they lost control of the game right after the first half as Jack Grealish found the back of the net – coming on as a substitute only after three minutes.
“It can’t happen that after half-time we lose so much control of the game, for instance, and then getting down is unnecessary,” Ten Hag added.
“When we do the right things, when we follow the right rules, when we step up at the back in earlier moments we can control such moments and do the same as the first half. But it’s also top football, the small details have a big impact and we have to keep working on that and keep investing in that.”
The manager feels the team is moving in the right direction and the players need to continue the good show.
“We often talk about teams, developing, tactics progressing, but one of the main jobs for a manager, for a coaching staff is to work on the mentality of the team and this mentality has a lot of elements,” he said.
“One of them is resilience, the determination of this team is progressing a lot in those facts, dealing with setbacks, dealing with suffering in painful moments and keep going after setbacks like a goal against.
“I think we have also players on the pitch who are experienced and know that one moment games can change and I think we are much better able to deal with such situations than a couple of months ago.”