Ten Hag Applauds Man Utd’s Resilience After Nightmare Start Against Forest


United’s start to the season seemed to be spiraling towards disaster as Taiwo Awoniyi exploited a corner to net for Forest just 90 seconds into the game. The turmoil deepened as Willy Boly nodded in an unchecked header from Morgan Gibbs-White’s free-kick, pushing Forest to a quick 2-0 lead.

Ten Hag expressed his take on the early goals: “With all respect to Forest, we can’t allow them (the goals). They were easy give-aways. It’s crazy, but sometimes games go like this.” The recent 2-0 loss to Tottenham and the challenging victory over Wolves at Old Trafford had left United’s performances under scrutiny.

Nevertheless, the team regained its composure and rallied to secure a dramatic comeback victory. The revival commenced with Cristian Eriksen capitalizing on Marcus Rashford’s delivery to reduce the deficit. The resurgence gathered momentum when Casemiro equalized, finishing off Bruno Fernandes’ well-placed header.

The complexion of the match shifted when Joe Worrall was shown a red card, leaving Forest with ten men. United capitalized on the numerical advantage as Fernandes calmly dispatched a penalty, awarded after Rashford was brought down in the box.

Despite the dismal beginning, Ten Hag commended the team’s resilience, noting: “Horror start, but the character of the team was brilliant. We stayed so calm and so composed. We stuck to our belief, stuck to our plan, played some good football and scored three good goals. It was a great comeback.”

This comeback showcased United’s capability to rebound from adversity. Ten Hag regarded it as a significant marker for the team’s character: “It’s a marker, absolutely. We’ve seen this team can bounce back. If you have such a start, you need to get over it. It’s not easy, but compliments to the team.” He underscored the team’s personality and ability to bounce back consistently.

Fernandes, the new club captain, led from the front, steering the turnaround and addressing criticisms of his leadership. He emphasized the high standards at Manchester United: “We know what it means to be a Manchester United player. We know this shirt demands a lot and we are ready for that.” Fernandes praised the team’s determination, acknowledging the need to rectify early concessions while focusing on consistent performances.

“It wasn’t the perfect start for us but we kept control, kept the ball and started doing the right things,” concluded Fernandes, indicating the team’s intent to learn and grow from the early struggles.

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