Erik ten Hag believes Manchester United’s 2-2 draw with Aston Villa in Australia will provide important experience for the forthcoming season, following a second-half fightback from Steven Gerrard’s side.
Jadon Sancho scored his third goal in four pre-season games with a first-half volley, which was added to by an own goal, but Leon Bailey pulled one back for Villa in the second half before Calum Chambers’ equaliser in the dying moments.
The draw ends United’s perfect pre-season run so far, having won each of their three games prior to the clash against their fellow Premier League side, but Ten Hag has seen the positives and believes the setback can provide an education for the upcoming season.
“First half, it was a decent performance, second half, we came back out of the dressing room and we had to control the game but we gave it away. That is no good, so that is a lesson,” he told MUTV.
“From the players, the team, I think there has been a lot of progress. There’s been some positive aspects.
“In the end there was a setback but that is also a part of the season because a season is not always getting up, you will also have setbacks that you have to deal with.”
A tough game, in tough conditions — we move on to the next challenge #MUFC || #MUTOUR22 pic.twitter.com/qZv1qwlkQy
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 23, 2022
United face Atletico Madrid in Oslo later this week in their penultimate pre-season match, before bringing their preparations for 2022-23 to a close against Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford next Sunday, and Ten Hag has outlined how he wants his team to continue to play in those games.
“We now play a different type of football against different systems, I think that will also be the case when we play the two Spanish teams,” he added.
“What we want is to play proactive football, we want to play with initiative, we want to play attacking football. That is also what we have seen today over a long period but in the end, you have to control the game and that’s what we didn’t do.”