The Red Devils sit bottom of the Premier League table after two games following back-to-back defeats, the latter of which saw them 4-0 down at the hands of Brentford inside the opening 35 minutes.
Manchester United had enjoyed a largely positive pre-season under Erik ten Hag as the Dutchman looks to impose his pressing philosophy on his new side, though the former Ajax boss said his side were lacking the ‘basic stuff’ in last weekend’s defeat.
“I think I make myself clear, I was definitely not happy,” he said at his pre-match press conference. “You can talk about football philosophy, but the basic stuff has to be good.
“That starts with the right attitude, a fighting attitude on the pitch. I didn’t see that from minute one. You have to bring it every game.”
Ten Hag reiterated his thoughts that the main thing wrong with last week’s disaster was his side’s attitude.
“You have a plan and then you check how the game went. Then you analyse and see what is wrong and what is good. A lot went wrong, but you don’t have to talk about anything when the attitude is not right.”
He has however insisted that his side have worked hard in training as they look to get their season back on track.
“No, it’s not difficult to motivate this team. They worked really good on the training pitch from the start of the season.”
The 51-year-old said his side must follow his ‘rules and principles’ to achieve success and build confidence.
“It starts with yourself. Follow the rules and principles and work hard. If you do that, you will get confidence.”
Ten Hag has repeatedly expressed his desire for his side to ‘press all day’, and despite the stern test of facing last season’s runners-up on Monday night, the Manchester United boss has insisted his philosophy will not change no matter who the opposition is.
“Every game is different, but the philosophy and the plan will be the same.
“We work from game to game. We know what is going on when you play against Liverpool, especially when you are Man United, so yeah, you have to be ready.”