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Players must brace themselves for Ten Hag criticism for ‘greater good’ – Dalot

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – Pre-Season Friendly – Manchester United Training – Rajamangala National Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand – July 11, 2022 Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag during training REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

(Reuters) – Manchester United will benefit from new manager Erik ten Hag’s stinging criticism as hearing truths they “don’t want to hear” will only improve the squad, defender Diogo Dalot has said.

Ten Hag was furious when United let slip a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw with Aston Villa on their pre-season tour, with the Dutch coach saying their loss of focus was “unacceptable”.

The draw was a blip in their preparation for the new Premier League season after three straight wins but Dalot said Ten Hag’s disciplinarian approach was necessary for the rebuild as they look to avoid a repeat of last season’s sixth-placed finish.

“It is discipline. We need to be ready for that, to be ready to hear things that maybe we don’t want to hear. But I think everything is for the greater good of the team and that’s the most important thing,” Dalot told reporters.

“We need to be proactive… 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.

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

United return to Europe for two more pre-season games against Atletico Madrid and Rayo Vallecano before kicking off the 2022-23 league campaign with a home game against Brighton & Hove Albion on Aug. 7.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Pritha Sarkar)