Man Utd players go completely against Erik ten Hag’s pre-match Newcastle message
Man Utd v Newcastle: Pictures
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag insisted pre-match that his group of players “can’t feel sorry” for themselves during this spell of bad form, but after the rallying cry they switched off to complain about a decision going against them only for Newcastle to take advantage on their way to a second goal. Lewis Hall’s strike came either side of efforts from Miguel Almiron and Joe Willock in a 3-0 win that sealed their place in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.
Heading into what felt like a crucial cup game at Old Trafford, Ten Hag made it extremely clear that United’s players could not believe that the entire world is against them and needed to carry on with their work.
“You can’t feel sorry for yourself as a top footballer,” Ten Hag told Sky Sports. “It’s tough, it’s hard, you have to deal with it for 24 hours and then you move to another challenge. You can’t change it anymore, but you can change the future.”
When he was asked whether the United fans deserved to see an improved performance against Newcastle, Ten Hag replied: “That is always what we want. They deserve it, they are always behind us. We know we have to match high standards, we know what to do and we are very eager to give a good performance and get into the next round.”
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However, it appears that the message was not adhered to. Shortly before Hall doubled Newcastle’s advantage, the visitors had won a free-kick in their own half after Paul Dummett was adjudged to have been brought down by Anthony Martial.
Instead of getting in place to defend an attack, over half of the United team began protesting to the referee and felt that they were harshly treated. Newcastle then took this free-kick quickly as the hosts were busy complaining, before Hall fired an effort from the edge of the box to double his side’s lead.
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Ten Hag will have been furious that his stars did not listen to the message that they cannot get in their own heads over situations going against them. Newcastle directly profited from that and after their latest disappointing result, Ten Hag personally apologised to the fanbase.
“It was not good enough,” he admitted. “We have to take responsibility for it. I have to take responsibility for it. We didn’t give the performance so I am sorry to the fans. It is below our standards and we have to put it right.
“We have to recover from it, and do it quickly. Saturday is the next game and we have to raise our standards. This is not good enough. Players will stand up and they are sticking together. You have seen that they have tried and we know this is not good enough. I am responsible for this and we will do this together.”
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