Southampton boss Ruben Selles said “every manager should learn” from Erik ten Hag’s decision to support his team. Manchester United Humiliated players at Liverpool.
United’s 7-0 Anfield destruction equated to their heaviest defeat ever, a shame it was brought into even sharper focus as it was inflicted by their major rivals.
Yet four days later, the Ten Witch was on the same side. Europa League form tie Real Betis and was rewarded with a nice 4-1 win before the second game of the round of 16 in Spain next week.
“They’re going to try to build momentum after that tough moment at Anfield,” Selles said before Southampton’s visit to Old Trafford on Sunday.
“I think those kinds of moments are hard to manage and Erik did a really good job there.
“I expect them to do some rotation on the roster because it’s not easy to play every three days.
But as we’ve seen, he made the right decision to stay with his players and I think every manager should take that lesson from him.”
A few days before his first game for which he was in charge – a shocking 1-0 win over Chelsea – Selles sat down with his backroom team to watch the Blues take on Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.
The practice was repeated on Thursday, when United met with Betis.
“We use these activities to have dinner with the technical team and watch together. To analyze the game and also to have some relaxing moments together,” Selles said.
“They started really solid and scored, then Betis tried to apply high pressure and got into trouble. They had some good moments, scored and could potentially make it 2-1.
“Manchester started the second half as they did all season, they were very strong in the second half of the game.
“They came back from the locker room with clear ideas, made a few substitutions and are better than when they started.
“I think the game is a clear example of what they are. Erik has changed his approach since the beginning of the season.
“He tried to apply the same style he has now. ajaxthis was really successful and was a Europe-wide example.
“From the beginning, it’s not easy to implement that philosophy, he adjusted his style and I think he’s been more successful because he tried to play a little more directly.”
“I think they have an identity now and he’s building a strong team.”
Appointed after Nathan Jones was sacked last month, Selles has two wins and one loss in the league.
All three games ended 1-0 and last weekend’s win over Leicester lifted Southampton off the table for the first time since the World Cup break.
Selles said: “Many games overall this season have been determined by a single goal and that makes marginal wins very important.
“We want to take these marginal gains for our side and that’s what happened against Chelsea and Leicester.
“If we can hold the games tight we can be there, we can perform and give ourselves a chance to win.”