Erik ten Hag felt a slow start was ultimately the cause of Manchester United’s Premier League defeat to Bournemouth.
Moments after the visitors had a penalty appeal turned down, they took a shock lead through Dominic Solanke’s clinical close-range finish when there were only five minutes on the clock. United dominated the first-half possession thereafter but Ten Hag felt some significant damage had already been done, even if Bournemouth still only led by one goal at half-time after Solanke hit the post and was also thwarted by a superb Harry Maguire challenge on the edge of the penalty area.
The Reds improved after the break until, against the run of play, the Cherries doubled their advantage through Phillip Billing’s header and then went on to make it 3-0 through another aerial attack by Marcos Senesi.
“Yeah, of course, it’s disappointing. All the players, everyone is disappointed, of course. And me as well. We are together and all together, we are disappointed. It should not happen. And, yeah, we have to take the responsibility together,” said Ten Hag.
“I think we didn’t start well and we already had a warning shot, when they almost had a penalty. That should have woken us up. But then we gave a goal away very easily. And then you make them big because they are a transition team and they defended very tough. They go in the duels, they go one on one and it was very difficult then. I thought we played too but we didn’t have the brilliance in the box.”
On his message to the fans, Ten Hag said: “I feel sorry for them because they’re always behind us and they could expect more from us and we have to do it from the first whistle. And you can’t start the game after five minutes.”