By Simon Peach, PA Chief Football Writer
Erik ten Hag expects a response from Manchester United as they look for revenge against Aston Villa and Carabao Cup progress.
Thursday’s Old Trafford encounter will be the sides’ second meeting in five days and the wounded Red Devils will be looking to make amends for Sunday’s tepid display in Birmingham.
Leon Bailey and Lucas Digne struck early goals in Unai Emery’s first match as Villa boss, with Jacob Ramsey wrapping up a 3-1 win having earlier turned a hopeful Luke Shaw strike into his own net.
That loss brought United’s nine-match unbeaten run to a halt and Ten Hag wants far better from his side in their final home game before the World Cup break.
“We had a good series of games and we played a lot of games after each other,” the Dutchman said. “I know players are not robots but we were not happy with our performance at Villa Park on Sunday.
“We made it quite clear in our analysis – it’s not acceptable, it’s never acceptable. We have to deliver every game and that is the culture that has to be here. It’s not good.
“We can’t change that any more but it’s clear, we want a reaction tomorrow from the team.
“We want to get back to what I’ve seen over the last couple of months. A change in attitude, a better winning attitude and, tomorrow, we have to bring that on the pitch.”
United’s first domestic cup match of the season offers Ten Hag the chance to rotate his side as a manic period comes to an end.
The Dutchman is planning some changes on Thursday and Anthony Martial is set to appear again, having returned from a back injury as a second-half substitute at Villa Park.
But Ten Hag is unsure if this match will come too soon for Antony and Jadon Sancho.
“First of all, all the games we play has only one aim – we have to win,” the United boss said. “That is the most important, eh? We have to win so we put the best players on the pitch we have.
“For every game, we make a proper plan and also a line-up, so for tomorrow that is the same.
“But of course we have a lot of games to cover, this is a different league (competition), so we plan some changes but we want to play a strong team and we have only one aim – we have to win tomorrow and we want to go to the next round.
“On the injuries update, there are some players coming back and also some question marks as you have seen.
“Anthony Martial, for the last 20 minutes, was back at Villa so we are happy with that.
“We hope that tomorrow he can continue this. He will be in the squad, we have to see, he will have minutes, definitely if he has recovered.
“Yesterday we had a day off so tonight we have the final training and we will see if he is capable to play for minutes.
“On the rest, Jadon Sancho, we have to wait, Antony we have to wait today on final training.”