Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag said supporters had every right to boo his team after their 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace as the 20-time top flight champions’ season went from bad to worse on Saturday.
An arrowing strike from Joachim Andersen earned Palace the victory at Old Trafford as United suffered back-to-back home league losses for the first time since losing to Liverpool and Manchester City in October and November 2021.
The defeat was United’s fourth in the league already this season, with boos greeting the final whistle in the Manchester rain.
Courtesy of their nine-point haul and a -4 goal difference, this is their worst-ever start to a Premier League season after seven games. The last time they suffered a worse start to a top-flight campaign was in 1989-90.
“I understand (the boos),” Ten Hag said. “When we play at home or away and we play Crystal Palace, we have to win.
“With all respect, I know every game is very difficult, you have to play your best and I understand fans expecting a win and we didn’t win. We lost.
“Of course we are concerned and we have to be more consistent. The demand is we get a row of wins and we have to do better than we do now.”
Having impressed in his first season in the job last term, Ten Hag was able to strengthen his squad with several big-money signings in the close season to raise hopes of a long-awaited title challenge at Old Trafford.
With leaders Manchester City already nine points clear of Ten Hag’s 10th-placed team, United are up against it to even challenge for the top four.
Dutchman Ten Hag is convinced he has seen enough, however, to remain hopeful for a turnaround in the coming weeks.
“I can’t blame the players, they gave everything,” he said. “But in the final part in both boxes we didn’t do well. We only conceded three chances and they were from set plays when we were in control.
“We were often in the key areas but we didn’t make the right decisions on and off the ball. We have to be more clinical and more determined if you want to score a goal, you have to show more willingness to get more impact to score a goal.
“We know we can do better and I am sure it will come.”