Ten Hag’s first game as United manager did not go to plan, with the Dutchman adding that his side “need to learn from those lessons”.
He said: “I think it was a good start and then after we dropped down a level, dropped down in belief. We made mistakes and the opponent punished us.
“But it’s a good opponent, worked long together and when you make mistakes you get punished for that against such teams.”
Ten Hag spoke about Brighton’s style of play under head coach Graham Potter. United and Brighton created 13 chances each during the game but the south coast side did so while enjoying only 37 per cent of possession.
“Brighton is a team who normally wants to play from the back, they didn’t today, they played long ball,” Ten Hag said.
“So it’s not about pressing, it’s about winning the second ball, and in some occasions, we did not always do what we laid out before the game and we have definitely to learn from those lessons.”
Ten Hag also commented on United’s striker situation, with midfielder Christian Eriksen starting as the most advanced attacker with Anthony Martial ruled out through injury and Cristiano Ronaldo only recently returning to training.
“If (he Martial) was available, the striker, I would have played him,” Ten Hag added. “Cristiano Ronaldo is maybe for 10 days in team training, that’s too short for 90 minutes, so that’s the reason we didn’t start him.
Avram Glazer, one of United’s co-chairmen, was also pictured at Old Trafford for the club’s opening game of the new season.
Before, throughout and after the match there were protests and chants against the Glazer family’s ownership of United.
Anti-Glazer banners were held as the United players were booed off at half-time, with Brighton leading 2-0 at that point.
He said: “It’s a disappointing season for everyone and we’re going to work hard to make next season a better season.”
When pressed on whether United would spend in the transfer market, Glazer added: “We’ve always spent the money necessary to buy new players.”
The Glazers’ promises: What Manchester United fans asked of them – and if they delivered
Gross doubled Brighton’s lead nine minutes later, again scoring from close range after David de Gea parried a shot into the German’s path.
United halved the deficit in the 68th minute, as a goalmouth scramble saw Robert Sanchez palm the ball onto Alexis MacAllister for a Brighton own goal.
United travel to Brentford for their next league game, while Brighton host Newcastle United.
(Photo: Getty Images)