Man Utd coach lays into players following embarrassing loss and Ronaldo snub (VIDEO)
Struggling Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has been forced to apologize to the club's long-suffering supporters after they saw their team humbled 4-0 by Brentford in the Premier League on Saturday.
Thanks to back-to-back defeats including a 2-1 loss to Brighton in their season opener, United are now bottom of the league and look like extending their trophy drought to six years and going without winning the top flight English title for a decade.
Speaking to reporters after the annihilation where all the goals came in the first half, Ten Hag admitted that Brentford were "more hungry" than his charges, who ignored his game plan.
"We conceded goals from individual mistakes. You can't have a tactical plan but then put it in the bin," Ten Hag noted.
Erik ten Hag: “The team has to take the responsibility. I feel sorry for the fans”. 🚨🔴 #MUFC“I asked them to play with belief and take responsibility, that is what they didn't do”, told Sky. pic.twitter.com/YE4alW1ykW— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 13, 2022
"It is difficult for me," confessed Ten Hag. "It is always a surprise when you start a game like this.
"After 35 minutes we conceded four goals. This is not possible. The team has to take the responsibility, I feel really sorry for the fans who did everything to support us, we let them down," he groveled.
While the former Ajax tactician took his own portion of the blame for the defeat as head coach, he also called on his underperforming squad to show better unity and improved confidence.
"They are good players, and have to take responsibility on the pitch, as a team and as individuals, and that's what we didn't do," Ten Hag stressed.
"I asked them to play with belief and take responsibility for their performance, and that's what they didn't do.
"It's only when we stick together and work hard that we will overcome that. You have to take belief on to the pitch for yourself and the team.
"Don't get me wrong, the manager is responsible as well, he has the main responsibility, and I take that. I will work on that," Ten Hag vowed.
"I have to give them belief, but they have to give it by themselves."
Ronaldo not happy and no handshake for Ten Hag pic.twitter.com/HGtmYXyBs5— James Robson (@jamesalanrobson) August 13, 2022
Elsewhere, it appeared that a furious Cristiano Ronaldo, who was offered his first start under his new coach and played the full 90 minutes, snubbed Ten Hag for a handshake at full time and also a plea from assistant manager Steve McClaren to applaud United's fans that had traveled nearly 200 miles south from Manchester to witness the demolotion.
In his Sky Sports punditry role, Gary Neville aimed a dig at the club and its owners the Glazer family by saying that it is "a real achievement to spend a billion and be this bad".
Worryingly for Ten Hag - who will be gone by Christmas at this rate - and his shot stars, their next outing is against Liverpool.
Though United took courage from a 4-0 friendly win over their bitter rivals in Bangkok recently, their last three official meetings have seen Jurgen Klopp's men thrash the Mancunians 4-0, 5-0 and 4-2 in the Premier League.