‘We’re really inconsistent’: Ten Hag implores United to toughen up

Erik ten Hag admitted Manchester United are not good enough to achieve the consistency of an elite team after they were humiliated 3-0 by Bournemouth.

Dominic Solanke’s fifth-minute strike was followed by second‑half goals from Philip Billing and Marcos Senesi to secure Bournemouth’s first win at Old Trafford. United’s disjointed, dismal display followed Wednesday’s 2-1 home win over Chelsea to continue a pattern of uneven displays and results.

Related: Manchester United stunned 3-0 as Bournemouth break Old Trafford duck

“As a squad we are not good enough to be consistent and we have to work as a squad to improve that,” Ten Hag said. “So we are really inconsistent. We have the abilities to do it every game and every third day.

“As a group we have to improve, that is a fact. We have to become tougher. That we are ready for the game from the start. I said on Friday, you can’t be in this league if you are not playing in the highest levels because you get killed and that is what happened in the first five minutes and against a good transition team, you make life easy for them. It can’t happen that you so easily concede a goal. I have to take the responsibility for it, I have to prepare my team for the game, I was very disappointed with the way we started.”

The captain, Bruno Fernandes, echoed his manager’s belief that United are too inconsistent. “If you want to be in the top spots you have to do it every three days,” he said. “You know that’s going to be tough. Every team plays good football. Every team is intense and has qualities so you have to be more consistent in everything that you are capable to do.” In a further blow to United, Fernandes is suspended for their next league game, at Liverpool, next Sunday.

Solanke praised the impact of Andoni Iraola after a win that claimed a 13th point from a possible 15. “We’ve just started clicking really,” Solanke said. “A new manager, coming into the team – at the beginning we were still trying to kind of find our feet with a new philosophy. We’ve definitely started gelling in the last few weeks and it has shown on the pitch.”