Fri 24 February 2023 | 20:43

Ten Hag bemoans facing off against ‘annoying’ Newcastle

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag believes that Newcastle will try to “annoy” them in the EFL Cup final.

Manchester United

are set to face Newcastle United in the EFL Cup final but manager ten Hag warned his players not to be “distracted” by the “annoying” Newcastle.

The two teams will battle it out on Sunday at Wembley Stadium for the first piece of major silverware this season.

"I think it's a great team,"

Ten Hag said of Newcastle, who held United to a goalless draw at Old Trafford in the Premier League in October.

"It's a clear philosophy about how they play the game. The key word is 'intensity'. They do really well. They're an annoying team to play against, so we have to find a way to win."

Ten hag went on to clarify his comments about Newcastle being “annoying”.

"They try to annoy you. So, we have to make sure we play our game and focus on our game."

He explained.

Eddie Howe’s Newcastle are notorious time-wasters as they have picked up 5 yellow cards because of it this season. In terms of having possession, only Leeds United has seen less of the ball in the league than Newcastle.

"They are quite successful with it,"

Ten Hag said.

"It's up to us that there's speed in the game, but we are also dependent on the refereeing as well."

Newcastle won’t be with their top-choice keeper

Nick Pope

though. The Englishman was sent off for a bizarre handball which stopped Mohamed Salah from scoring a clear goal in Newcastle 2-0 defeat against Liverpool. Ten Hag acknowledged Pope’s absence.

"It's an issue for them that they have to sort. Of course we know it,"

Ten Hag said.

"It's definitely not an advantage.

"We can't influence it; the one who is holding [the gloves] can influence it. We have to test him, it's quite obvious."

Asked if Pope's absence would impact Newcastle's gamesmanship, Ten Hag replied: "I don't know the instructions of the opponents. I cannot influence that.

"We have to make it our game, so focus on the job we have to do, focus on football when the ball is in the game. It's about that, being fully concentrated on that and don't get distracted by whatever is on the pitch.

"We have to focus on the job, find our way and find the moments when we can strike."



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source: SportMob

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