Erik ten Hag says his team showed a lack of belief in their remarkable 6-3 loss to on Sunday, which surprised the Dutchman after a good run of results.
The Red Devils were completely outclassed at the Etihad, with and both scoring hat-tricks in a superb performance from the Premier League champions.
Pep Guardiola’s side were exceptional and would have hammered many teams, but United were also poor and Ten Hag believes it was a lack of self belief that caused them to struggle.
‘Lack of belief,’ he told Sky Sports. ‘I am surprised by why we didn’t bring that on the pitch.
‘I have seen, obviously four weeks ago, but I have seen a different team, a different spirit, a different vibe, with conviction.
‘Today we didn’t have conviction from the first minute on, we were not front foot, we were not brave in possession.’
Ten Hag’s men had won their previous four Premier League matches, including fine victories over Liverpool and Arsenal and he is not sure why they dropped off so much against their local rivals.
However, he says they lacked fight and he was not surprised that a heavy loss came about when his players wouldn’t show that quality.
‘It’s always difficult to find out, especially straight after the game,’ said the Dutchman when asked why his team lacked belief. ‘I have to talk with my players, I have to find out.
‘I know they can be better. I see the performances against Arsenal and Liverpool.
‘If you don’t fight, and that’s what we didn’t do, then you have problems against a team like Man City.’
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