Manchester United boss, Erik ten Hag has said his side needs to be decisive at the front and maintain a level head at the back after a heart-wrenching last-minute defeat at the American Express Community Stadium on Thursday night.
The Red Devils had the better chances in the first half with the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial and Casemiro coming close to securing the lead for the United side. still, they lacked the cutting edge to punish Brighton.
The Seagulls gradually grew into the game with time running out, Luke Shaw was unlucky to concede a handball and Alexis Mac Allister made no mistake from the spot, firing into the top corner in the 99th minute.
“I think in the first minute that we created a great chance, but we didn’t score. So we have to be more clinical on our chances we produce in the first half and then in the attack, we concede then and we give away a big chance,” Ten Hag said in a post-match interview.
“And also in the end, we gave away a goal and that can’t happen, must not happen. It may be a little bit [lack of] focus, but we were also a bit unlucky because it was never a free-kick where the corner is coming from. So yeah, and then you can’t bounce back anymore. But that is what we have to do on Sunday.”
The Dutch expressed his anger at the manner in which the free-kick was awarded claiming the referee was oblivious to some bad play that ensued before the decisive spot-kick
“My anger is about the free-kick before, because it was never a free-kick [against Shaw on Enciso] and there were so many bad tackles tonight where there was not a whistle. But that is nothing. It’s a fair block and that’s a whistle.”
“I’ve seen that it is handball and maybe he is out of balance. Maybe he got a push from the back, but I can’t see because there are so many players in [the way].”
However, Ten Hag has maintained optimism that his side can bounce back from the defeat and finish the season strong
“The last five games, we had four wins, one draw. We were in a good run, we are improving. But we still have a way to go. We have to stay focused. We have everything in our hands, and we have to bounce back. We have to take the lessons from tonight and then we move on and we go to West Ham. Then we have to bounce back.”