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FootballMan United results 'not enough' to finish in top four of Premier...

Man United results ‘not enough’ to finish in top four of Premier League table, Ten Hag accepts

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has said he told his players not to be “erratic” at half-time of their 2-2 draw at Bournemouth, when two Bruno Fernandes goals rescued a point which does little to boost their ambitions of qualifying for European competition.

Ten Hag’s side deservedly trailed 2-1 at the break, Fernandes replying in between strikes by Dominic Solanke and Justin Kluivert.

“This is not enough, we know that,” under-pressure Ten Hag told Sky Sports when he was asked about the prospect of finishing in the top four, which will guarantee Uefa Champions League football next season.

“When you come into the final stage of the season, this is not enough. The truth is we did not deserve more today. We have to do better, control the game, score goals and not give as many chances away.”

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United have one win in seven league matches and needed Fernandes’ penalty – the result of a contentious handball decision against Adam Smith – to earn a draw.

They are 10 points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa before their FA Cup semi-final against Coventry City at Wembley Stadium in their next match on April 21.

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Discussing his advice at the interval, Ten Hag argued that injuries to the likes of Raphael Varane are proving costly and said: “[There were] two things: stay in formation in possession and don’t get erratic. And number two, do your job defensively.

“At this moment, with all the problems we have, we play to our levels. We can play very good and to our levels when everyone is on top form but we have to do it for the whole 90 minutes.

“We have used the same back line twice and these players gave everything, their maximum. But some of them are young, inexperienced and to do it match after match in the tough Premier League is difficult.

“It is hard but they have to deal with it. That is the demand of Manchester United. You see with every opponent there is that desire to beat us.

“Today they went to their limits. Every match, they go to their limits. We have to show resistance, control it and dominate it.”

Both sides hit the woodwork in the first half, when Kluivert also missed a presentable opportunity to put Bournemouth 3-1 ahead.

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