Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag wants his players to “stick together” after his side were beaten 3-1 at home by “clinical” Brighton.
Former United forward Danny Welbeck opened the scoring for the visitors before goals from Pascal Gross and Joao Pedro put the Seagulls 3-0 up at Old Trafford.
Hannibal Mejbri grabbed a consolation goal for the Red Devils and new signing Rasmus Hojlund had a first-half strike disallowed on his home debut.
It was definitely not United’s day as their woes against Brighton continued and Ten Hag has said the result ultimately came down to “really small margins”.
“We are disappointed,” the Dutch manager told Sky Sports. “But it was really small margins. We are so close against a good side. The first 20 minutes was all ours. We created chances but didn’t score.
“We conceded a goal with their first attack. We then had a period in the game that was quite difficult, we fought to get a goal and it was disallowed. So it is difficult in this period.
“It has not fallen on our side, but we will fight back and if we stick together, play as a team, stick to the rules, we will return.”
Ten Hag continued: “There’s always some improvements to make, especially the organisation. But is was not our day.
“The second goal was straight after half-time. Second chance second goal, very clinical. It was a setback we did not deal with so good. but we have to keep positive in such moments and stick together and you will get back into the game.
“You learn many things from such a game. From the mental side, you can keep strong in moments but I have seen some good stuff. the way we created many chances we are just not finishing them, but that will change.”
Ten Hag explained by Hojlund was brought off as his side chased a goal, noting that he has only just returned from injury.
“He is coming with a small issue and we have to be careful but the reception of the fans was great,” he said.
“His game was great and the fans embraced it. He was unlucky with the disallowed goal, it would have been a great afternoon for him. It was not the case but he will keep going.
“He is a strong character as we are as a team and we will push back.”
Meanwhile, United midfielder Christian Eriksen has said his side had “good control” of the game during the opening 45 minutes.
“It is a heavy one,” he said. “We have to look at ourselves. We changed some things but we are disappointed.
“In the first half we had a lot of moments, had good control. They had a lot of possession but not many chances. They then score with their first chance and the system they play they keep the ball a lot and we had to chase it down. But we still had chances to get back into the game.”
Asked what needs to be done to turn United’s fortunes around, Eriksen replied: “The small things. We had the offside at Arsenal and today when we scored but it was out of play. The small things we are missing and a bit of luck to get over the line and get something out of the effort we put in.
“Any game at the start of the season, doesn’t matter who you play, is very important. We focus on our games and whoever we play we want to win. But we have lost three already and we have to change that.”
It’s the small matter of Bayern Munich in the Champions League next. If they lose, that will be three in a row.
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