Manchester United fell to a 1-3 defeat to Wrexham in what was a thorough outclassing by a team of seasoned veterans of a youthful side.
Manager Erik ten Hag echoed a similar sentiment in his post-match briefing with MUTV.
He said “we’re disappointed with ourselves” as the team “lacked structure” and failed to reach some objectives which they had for this game.
The first-half performance was particularly singled out by him, in which United went down by two goals before a Marc Jurado volley at the stroke of half-time halved the deficit.
Ten Hag said the first half was “a little bit erratic”. Wrexham striker Paul Mullin suffered a punctured lung after a horror collision with United goalkeeper Nathan Bishop as nerves spread around the young team, which Ten Hag alluded to.
He said the youngsters “have to learn from it and I’m sure they will”.
He pointed out that the game at this level is always physical and “our players have to get used to it”
However, amidst the disappointment of the result, he was keen to stress the bigger picture by striking an optimistic tone.
The manager was hopeful that the learnings from the defeat will stand the team in good stead as players will learn to “deal with the pressure of the crowd”, saying that “this is men’s football”.
The youngsters often looked nervy in moments of possession and even 35-year-old Jonny Evans made mistakes in what was a forgettable performance.
United’s youngsters didn’t cover themselves in glory in this game in front of more than 34,000 people but as Ten Hag said, positive outcomes from this game should accelerate the development curve of this promising crop of youngsters.
The next pre-season game is now on July 27, 1.30 AM against Real Madrid in which the senior team should be back, hoping and trying for a different result than this game.