EPL

Man Utd players must be ready to 'hear things we don't want to', says Dalot

By Sports Desk July 24, 2022

Manchester United's players must "be ready to hear things we don't want to" from new manager Erik ten Hag if they are to avoid a repeat of last season, according to full-back Diogo Dalot.

Ten Hag officially replaced interim boss Ralf Rangnick at Old Trafford last month on the back of United posting their lowest-ever Premier League points tally (58) in the 2021-22 campaign.

The Dutchman's tenure has started in a positive fashion with three wins and a draw during the Red Devils' pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia, scoring 13 goals in the process.

However, Ten Hag criticised his team for an "unacceptable" loss of concentration in Saturday's friendly with Aston Villa, which finished in a 2-2 draw despite United leading by two goals at half-time.

Dalot, who played 67 minutes of the game in Perth, accepts that such comments must be taken on board.

"It is discipline. We need to be ready for that, to be ready to hear things that maybe we don't want to hear," Dalot said. "Everything is for the greater good of the team and that’s the most important thing.

"I feel that we start from scratch: new manager, new stuff, new energy, new players coming in, and we’re looking forward to playing with them as well. We need to build a team, a staff, a club, everyone together and go forward."

Jadon Sancho's third goal of pre-season and a Matty Cash own goal put United in a commanding position against Villa at Optus Stadium, but Leon Bailey pulled one back and Calum Chambers headed a stoppage-time leveller.

"We should have come into the second half a little bit more lively," Dalot said. "Obviously we were winning 2-0, but we need to keep the tempo, keep the ball, we don't want to concede so many counter-attacks that we conceded.

"But it is something to learn for the future. We are going to analyse the game for sure and take the lessons. We need to be proactive, not just the full-back – everyone. Read the game, be always on our toes.

"Mentally we have to be connected all the time, and hopefully we can improve a little bit more as well and go to the season."

Dalot has started all four of United's pre-season friendlies, suggesting he has dislodged Aaron Wan-Bissaka as first-choice right-back heading into Ten Hag's first season in charge.

The Portugal international has struggled to hold down a place since arriving from Porto in 2018, and was sent out on loan to Milan in the 2020-21 campaign, but he is up for the challenge of proving himself.

"I want to be ready for the manager, for the club – every time he needs me I'm going to be there," Dalot said.

"I need to show my qualities as well. This is why I came here, to show to this club I'm capable of playing many games for it. This is what I want."

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