Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag explains strong dressing room chat after Atletico Madrid loss

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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has spoken out after his side’s 1-0 friendly loss to Atletico Madrid on Saturday. Joao Felix scored the only goal of the game in the closing stages, expertly firing past David De Gea. And it means the Red Devils have now tasted defeat for the first time under their new boss. 

Manchester United went into their match with Atletico looking to return to winning ways.

The Red Devils drew 2-2 with Aston Villa last time out but, in Norway, they were unable to secure victory.

Despite United dominating proceedings, for the most part, they were sunk in the closing stages with Felix on target.

The Portugal international had been introduced in the second half and made his mark, expertly finishing past De Gea to give Diego Simeone’s side the win.

And Ten Hag has now reacted to the defeat, insisting that he’s not happy – and that’s also a message he relayed to players inside the dressing room. 

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Speaking to club media, he said: “The team’s performance was really good.

“The score is not good. We created a lot of chances, to score at least one goal, but we didn’t score.

“I’m not satisfied on this point and I said it to the team, it is not acceptable.”

United had, prior to the match against Atletico, been unbeaten in four games since Ten Hag’s appointment.

They put Liverpool to the sword earlier this month, winning 4-0 courtesy of goals from Jadon Sancho, Anthony Martial, Fred and Facundo Pellistri.

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United then followed up that impressive display by beating Melbourne Victory and Crystal Palace.

But they’ve now failed to win their last two games, with the defeat to Atletico coming after a 2-2 draw with Aston Villa.

Ten Hag said after the Atletico game that United were threatening, and cited a big chance missed by skipper Harry Maguire.

“Our possession and transition game was good,” he added.

“We created a lot of threat. That point I was satisfied. Also from set pieces, big chance for Harry Maguire.”

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Christian Eriksen also got a mention, with the Denmark international making his debut for the team following his arrival from Brentford.

“We know what he is able to do,” he said.

“I think with our front men he is able to give them the right passes at the right time. Then it’s about finishing.”

On Atletico themselves, Ten Hag was respectful towards the La Liga side.

But he did insist that some tackles weren’t good enough, insisting he was worried about injuries during the course of the contest.

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“I like competitiveness, but with respect I don’t want to have injuries as well,” he said.

“That’s why you have to keep respect for each other, and I’ve seen some tackles that were over the limit.”

Next up for United is another friendly against Rayo Vallecano.

That will take place at Old Trafford on Sunday (4pm) and will be Ten Hag’s first game in the dugout of the famous stadium.

And, on plans for that game, he said: “Tomorrow we will have a different starting eleven. But there are players that came on who can start tomorrow.”

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