Martin Jol says his side “were not good enough” and made it “too easy” for Manchester United after their 5-0 home defeat by the reigning Premier League champions.
The hosts were put to the sword thanks to an early goal from Danny Welbeck, which was followed by two more in the first half and another two late on to seal the victory.
And the Dutch manager admitted that his side were not good enough, stating that they made it too easy for the visitors to dominate.
“The [early goal was] the disappointing thing because you know against a team like Manchester United you have to be organised,” Jol told reporters.
“We knew their qualities, their link-up play through Rooney who has some of the most touches in the Premier League. It was too easy for them. They had eight attempts at goal and score five; it’s a horror scenario.
“I think we were bothered too much with the screening and the doubling up on the flanks. We tried to do that because their quality is down the flanks. And [Wayne] Rooney is very functional, everything he touches goes to the flanks, getting the one-on-ones.
“And tonight, especially in the first half, we weren’t good enough, it was too easy. The second half – it doesn’t really show if you lose 5-0 – but for 35 minutes I thought we were a lot better. We could have scored, but we didn’t and you know, 3-1 or 3-2 looks a lot better.
“To concede an early goal is not good for confidence, and it was the same for the second.
“If I say it was too easy, that sums it up. The first goal was Nani going down the flank. He was not on his own because we still had a player there around him but he got the cross in. We had enough players in the box but we didn’t mark [Welbeck].”
Jol also lamented the lack of teamwork from his side, saying that it was the reason behind good recent displays and lacking from the performance against United.
“It’s about teamwork,” he said. “Our goal difference showed that, it was probably a big plus this season, but it’s something we destroyed tonight with five goals.
“If you play as a team, you don’t concede silly goals and you always get your chances. But if you concede as early as we did – we looked tired as well, and that is not what you want.
“But I think in the second half, we came out and showed that we played for ourselves, for the team and for the supporters. So to concede a fourth and fifth goal well, that is [Rooney’s] quality. So don’t give him the space and opportunity.”
Jol’s side now face a daunting trip to local rivals Chelsea on Boxing Day, and while he insists that it’s far from a “perfect” match to be playing so soon after a heavy defeat, it gives his team a chance to prove what they are made of.
“It’s not perfect. It doesn’t lift your confidence if you get a defeat like this tonight, so we have to do a lot of talking and try to go there and get a result, but Chelsea are a good side, of course.
“We have to be better, be more aggressive. We have to take the game to them because if we lose the ball in midfield all the time it’s easy for them.”