Erik ten Hag took the rare step of addressing the Manchester United players on the pitch before the second half of their tepid defeat at Aston Villa.
With the home side leading 2-1, United players returned before Villa’s, and Ten Hag revealed he had failed to remind them of an additional item during his half-time team talk.
The Dutchman strolled onto the pitch and briefly spoke with players in the center circle, including Cristiano Ronaldo. Within four minutes of the restart, Villa restored their two-goal lead, which they held on to win 3-1.
“No, it was just one detail I failed to mention at halftime, and I was able to convey that point,” Ten Hag explained. “I thought we played well in the second half, creating two nice chances with Garnacho and Ronaldo.
“And we scored, getting back into the game and hoping to turn it around by halftime. Everyone had that sensation, so we walked out with that mindset.
“But then you give the game away in the second half, just like you did at the opening of the first.”
Ten Hag refuted the notion that he was not as proactive with his substitutes against Real Sociedad in the Europa League on Thursday night.
With United leading 1-0 in San Sebastian in the 58th minute, Ten Hag substituted Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay for Donny van de Beek and Victor Lindelof, but with Villa leading 3-1, United did not make a substitution until the 65th minute, when Anthony Martial, Anthony Elanga, and Tyrell Malacia came on for Van de Beek, Garnacho, and Luke Shaw.
“We also make three subs around 60 or 65 minutes, so not much later,” Ten Hag asserted.