'They are annoying' - Erik ten Hag warns Man Utd about Newcastle ahead of Carabao Cup final
- Ten Hag takes aim at Newcastle
- Calls Magpies 'annoying'
- Explains how Man Utd must control cup final
WHAT HAPPENED? Fresh off the back of a huge win against Barcelona in the Europa League play-off round, secured in a 2-1 comeback victory at a buoyant Old Trafford, United manager Ten Hag has quickly turned his attention towards Sunday's Carabao Cup final meeting with Newcastle. Two days out from his first chance at winning silverware with United, he's warned his side about what to expect from their opponents.
WHAT THEY SAID: The Dutchman gave an unusually open explanation of Newcastle in his pre-match press conference, admitting: "They're an annoying team to play against, so we have to find a way to win."
He added: "They try to annoy you. We have to make sure that we play our game and we focus on our game. You see the referee wants to play an effective time. They have the lowest in the league and they are quite successful with it. So it's up to us that we get speed in the game and we are also then dependent on the refereeing as well."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Newcastle have enjoyed a fantastic 2022-23 campaign thus far and sit fifth in the Premier League table, some eight points behind United with a game in hand. The Magpies held the Red Devils to a goalless draw at Old Trafford before the World Cup break and are one of just three sides to take points away from the Theatre of Dreams in the Premier League this season.
Despite their impressive form under Eddie Howe, which sees them in a genuine fight to finish in the top four, the wheels have began to come off somewhat in recent weeks. Newcastle are now winless in their last three games and lost at home to Liverpool last time out, where goalkeeper Nick Pope was sent off, ruling him out of their first final since 1999.
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WHAT NEXT FOR MAN UTD? All eyes are now on yet another huge game for United on Sunday, although it remains to be seen whether or not they will be without Marcus Rashford for the final, with the club sweating over his fitness.