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Erik ten Hag needs to fix something he insists isn't an issue for Manchester United

Nearly every successful team has a solid backline but Manchester United have lacked that for quite some time.

In the current campaign, United have conceded 40 league goals, at an average of 1.38 per match, with only eight clean sheets in 29 outings. Andre Onana has been left exposed far too often, with the numbers more akin to a side battling relegation than one competing for silverware.

Erik ten Hag is undeterred by the criticism of United’s defence. After the draw against Brentford on Saturday, Ten Hag said: “As long as we get results, no, I’m not concerned. We defended low at times because Brentford are very direct and we lost so many second balls we had to defend the box.”

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Ten Hag had to tinker with his defence yet again during the match, with centre-backs Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelöf departing early due to injury.

It has been an injury-plagued campaign for United, with Lisandro Martinez now back on the treatment table. There’s been a lack of continuity in defence and that is likely to have played a part in the way Ten Hag approaches games.

However, plenty of other elite clubs have had to deal with similar issues. Liverpool sit at the top of the table despite their issues in defence.

While injuries haven't helped United's search for consistency, something else that can’t be overlooked is United’s weak defending in transition phases.

For a team that likes to play on the break and catch teams out when they've lost their shape, United's ability to defend against such attacks is lacking. But this isn’t just the back four's responsibility, it all comes down to how United press from the front. Ten Hag’s bold

Read more on manchestereveningnews.co.uk