Manchester United must continue to showcase their resilience as the season heads towards its conclusion, Erik ten Hag has urged.
A 7-0 hammering at the hands of Liverpool last Sunday attracted vast criticism but did not hinder United in their Europa League exploits, securing a 4-1 victory over Real Betis in the first leg of their round-of-16 clash.
The second-half display was decisive against the Spanish side, having seen Betis equalise against the run of play, which Ten Hag felt highlighted the squad’s character.
Such spirit has been present on a number of occasions for United this season, and manager Ten Hag is keen for more of the same against Southampton as the Red Devils seek to nail down third spot.
“I think when the season goes to the end, it’s going to be even more difficult for every team, because the pressure will be higher and higher,” he said.
“So, you need character, you need determination, you need the resilience, you need a team with personalities, and I think we already showed now several times in the season, this team can deal with setbacks.
“[Against Real Betis] we have seen an example but before as well after Brentford, for instance, after Arsenal we bounced back, after [Manchester] City we bounced back.
“Now, I will say this [win over Betis] is part one, because Sunday has to come another one, but I think this team can rely on that, that they can bounce back, but it demands a lot of energy and a lot of togetherness, from a lot of players to get the performance.”
31 – Most wins in all competitions this season among teams in Europe’s big five leagues:
31 – Manchester United
30 – No team
29 – No team
28 – No team
27 – Barcelona, Napoli, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 9, 2023
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