Manchester United’s sensational comeback win against Brentford must be a turning point for the Old Trafford club after a woeful start to the season, manager Erik ten Hag said.
United recovered from a goal down at home to secure a 2-1 victory in the Premier League on Saturday thanks to two stoppage-time goals by substitute Scott McTominay.
The 20-time top-flight champions had gone into the game off the back of a 3-2 home loss to Turkish side Galatasaray in the Champions League group stage, having also suffered a 1-0 defeat against Crystal Palace in the league.
“It has to be a turning point and also a restart,” Ten Hag said. “The spirit is good. The team is together. We have shown that. These games give fuel to the dressing room.
“They know how far they have to go to get results. It can’t be easy going. In football, it is eat or get eaten. Too many times in the first half of this season, we got eaten by opponents who are more hungry. This can’t be.
“Every player has to deliver that in every second he is on the pitch. That is the demand, the standard; when you do that, we have seen last season you get this from a determined team.
“We were not always determined on every occasion in games (this year) and you get hammered for it. This has to change. We controlled the game, without creating many chances.”
United’s defensive frailties were exposed in the 26th minute when Casemiro gave the ball away, and Victor Lindelof failed to clear, allowing Brentford midfielder Mathias Jensen to slot the ball under the body of goalkeeper Andre Onana, who should have saved it comfortably.
“We had some opportunities and then the same story again: we conceded a goal, some decisive moment, totally the wrong decision,” the Dutchman said.
“Two or three players (to blame). It sums up our season, such easy giveaways get punished in top football.”