Erik ten Hag has sent a message to Pep Guardiola and Man City after their landslide derby win over Manchester United, saying: ‘Thank you for the lesson’.
Ten Hag’s side faced the Premier League champions in the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday and were swept aside with a 6-3 scoreline.
After a poor start to the season, the Red Devils really kicked on and listed themselves to sixth position in the Premier League.
They were on a four-match winning run in the league before facing their rivals, and Ten Hag says the manner of the defeat was a ‘reality check’ for his players.
While defeat to City wasn’t an ideal result by any means, the Dutch boss is taking the silver linings from such a defeat as he looks to keep his team hungry and motivated.
And he is ready to bounce back in the Europa League on Thursday as United take on Cypriot team Omonia Nicosia – which is LIVE on talkSPORT 2.
Speaking in his press conference ahead of the game, Ten Hag said: “I know when you’re in a process it will not go only upside, you will have setbacks.
“We beat the No.1 in the league, we beat Liverpool, on Sunday we had a bad day at the office and we got beaten.
“In this moment, on that day, City were better, we have to accept that. But we can’t accept our performance, that was unacceptable.
“It was a reality check, so we have to learn from it and carry on. You take respect of the opponent but we still stick to our principles, that’s tactics sometimes, to surprise opponents, to bring something different to your game.
“We will do that also in the future, but we can get a lot of confidence about this when you beat Arsenal and Liverpool, now we get a reality check with Man City.
“We know we have to step up, so thank you for the lesson Pep and City, we will take that, we have to understand.”