Manchester United V Brighton: Pictures
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag claims the boos following Rasmus Hojlund’s substitution against Brighton were a “positive”. Red Devils supporters at Old Trafford were not happy when the summer signing came off with their side trailing 2-0.
Hojlund made his first start for United since his £72million move from Atalanta. It was also his first outing at Old Trafford after an exciting cameo in the late 3-1 defeat at Arsenal before the international break.
He thought he had scored his first goal for his new club in the 41st minute. However, VAR ruled that the ball had gone beyond the byline when Marcus Rashford pulled it back for the Denmark star.
Hojlund arrived at United with a back injury which forced him out of the first three matches of the season. With Brighton having doubled their lead shortly after half-time, Hojlund was taken off in the 64th minute.
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United fans made their feelings clear as they booed the decision from Ten Hag. The Dutchman says Hojlund is not fit enough to play an entire 90 minutes yet.
However, he says the reaction from the supporters towards Hojlund is only good news for the 20-year-old as he settles into his new surroundings. Asked about the boos, Ten Hag said: “It was positive.
“You see the fans in the first moment at Old Trafford, reception was great, he performed very well, it was good they gave this signal, will give him belief. He came in with a small issue, he is not ready for a whole game.”
Speaking to Sky Sports, Ten Hag admitted he was impressed with Hojlund’s performance. He said: “His game was great and the fans embraced it.
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“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.”
United have now lost three of their opening five matches of the season. Ten Hag believes luck has not been on his team’s side but insists they must stick to basics to return to form.
He added: “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. There are always some improvements to make, especially the organisation. But it was not our day.
“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.”
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