Ten Hag hits out at Carragher's 'subjective' Man United talk

Nicol: Fulham outplayed Man United at Old Trafford (2:22)

Steve Nicol reacts to Fulham's 2-1 win over Manchester United in the Premier League. (2:22)

Erik ten Hag has hit back at Jamie Carragher's criticism of Manchester United's performance against Fulham and hinted he believes the former Liverpool defender is unfair in much of his analysis about his team.

Carragher, a Sky Sports pundit, accused United's players of "not knowing their jobs straight from kick-off" in the 2-1 defeat to Fulham on Saturday.

- Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

But speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, Ten Hag branded Carragher a "subjective" rather than objective pundit and suggested the former England international is unfair when he discusses United.

"First of all, some analysts are very objective in their comments, very good advice, some are very subjective," Ten Hag said.

"Jamie Carragher from the first moment on has criticised and now he wants to make his point."

Ten Hag accepted some of Carragher's points about problems in United's midfield were valid, but the Dutch manager insisted his team dealt with the issues quickly.

"Probably in the first half an hour, yeah, he had a point," said Ten Hag, who takes his team to Nottingham Forest in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Wednesday.

"Fulham in their midfield set up a little bit surprised [us] and then we have to find the solutions. After half an hour we found the solutions, I was not pleased with the performance with the defending, especially on the left side, how we did the pressing because they came out, especially in the first half an hour, several times on the left side and that can't happen.

"That has to do with willingness, spirit, passion, that was, in the previous weeks, very good for this team and therefore, we won football games."

Carragher was brutal in his assessment of the performance against Fulham, focusing particularly on the gap between United's defenders and midfielders.

"Twenty seconds into the game against Fulham, it's been the problem for Manchester United all season, there's space between the back four and the midfield," Carragher said on Sky Sports on Monday.

"We go to the reason why they're poor defensively and can't cope with counter-attacks, they've got no pace at the back and a lack of legs in midfield."

Ten Hag accepted the display at Old Trafford had been poor but pointed to a seven-game unbeaten run to start 2024 as proof the team are going in the right direction.

"We are unbeaten for January and February and lose one game," Ten Hag said.

"We know our aim is to win every game, that's United. Obviously, it was a poor performance for a defeat, we are aware of this.

"I know footballers are not robots, sometimes they have bad days. But it can't be, it's unacceptable. We have to do better tomorrow [against Forest] but in the weeks before we have done very well."