Harry Maguire has admitted that he failed to jell with new centre-back partner Lisandro Martinez during Manchester United's 2-1 defeat to Brighton on Sunday in their season opener. The Seagulls capitalised on some questionable defending to race to a 2-0 lead before half-time thanks to a brace from Pascal Gross.
United did improve after the break and cut the deficit to one 22 minutes from time courtesy of an Alexis Mac Allister own goal, but they could not register an equaliser.
Brighton had never won at Old Trafford before handing new Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag a loss to start his tenure on the wrong foot.
What did Maguire say about United's loss to Brighton?
"It’s something we need to address or it’ll keep happening. The first goal felt like a big blow to all 11 of our players," Maguire told Sky Sports after the game.
"It’s great to have Lisandro Martinez at the club. We have competition for places at centre-back. We’ve not played much together and in that first period we weren’t on the same wavelength. Centre-back partnerships are built over time and we will get a lot better and keep clean sheets.
"Everyone knew the task. We had a bad season last season. We’ve got a new manager trying to put his philosophy on the team but when we don’t get it right we look far too open."
How did Martinez & Maguire perform against Brighton?
It was far from a vintage debut for Martinez, who joined United from Ajax for £46.5 million ($53m) in the summer.
As well as being part of a defence that let two goals in, he nearly conceded a penalty for bundling Danny Welbeck over in the box during the second half.
How did Erik ten Hag react to the defeat?
"A setback, a real disappointment and we have to deal with it. I knew from the start it would not be easy and it's a process that takes time.But we don't have time, we need to win games. We should have done better," he said.
"It was unnecessary. We give two easy balls away and the organisation was a big mistake."
He added: "I am not satisfied, totally not. We lost and it was not necessary. We should have done things better."