Heaton reveals what Christian Eriksen told Manchester United teammates in dressing room about defensive problem
Man United was beaten to a 1-1 draw by Rayo Vallecano in their final pre-season friendly on Sunday.
Christian Eriksen has stated that Manchester United is prone to be caught off guard in the opening seconds of games, a flaw that Tom Heaton wishes to eliminate before the season begins.
On Sunday, a primarily second-string United squad faced Rayo Vallecano of Spain in the penultimate preseason friendly at Old Trafford. The game ended 1-1, with Amad scoring for Erik ten Hag’s side, but United was fortunate not to be down after less than 10 seconds.
Straight from the kick-off, Vallecano fooled United’s defense by seeming to hit it long but instead playing a beautiful through pass to eventual goal scorer Alvaro Garcia, who forced Heaton into an instant save at his near post.
In the locker room, new signing Eriksen pointed out that he caught United off guard in a similar manner while playing for Brentford last season, when he delivered a beautiful pass after only five seconds to put a striker through on goal, despite the Bees being unable to capitalize.
Heaton wants the team to work on that weakness before the season opener against Brighton on Sunday. “Yeah, I did,” Heaton responded when asked if he was forced to make an early save. “It was a red herring from them down the right side, as if they were going to play it long, come back the other way, and slip it in behind.”
“Unfortunately, we weren’t aware of it, and the guy got through and created an opportunity.” Christian, interestingly, mentioned Brentford doing it to us last year, I believe fairly early on, so it’s something we might have to look into and make sure we get right before we kick off next weekend.”