Ten Hag backs players to rebound from embarrassing derby defeat

Erik ten Hag tells players ‘there is no point feeling sorry for ourselves’ in rousing comments ahead of Man United’s Carabao Cup tie against Newcastle – as he demands backlash from embarrassing 3-0 derby defeat

  • Man United face Newcastle in the Carabao Cup in a repeat of last season’s final
  • United are licking their wounds from a humiliating defeat to their neighbours
  • Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’ 

Erik Ten Hag says his players must handle the pressure of being at Manchester United as he backed them to rebound from an embarrassing defeat in the Old Trafford derby.

Sunday’s 3-0 loss to Manchester City was United’s seventh in 14 games this season and turned up the heat on Ten Hag again following three straight wins.

United meet Newcastle in the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford on Wednesday in a repeat of last season’s final, and the Dutchman wants to see an immediate response from his team.

‘At Manchester United, every game involves high stakes,’ Ten Hag wrote in the United Review for Wednesday’s game.

‘Every single day, there is pressure on everybody involved with this club, but those demands and standards are a challenge which we must always meet head-on.

Erik Ten Hag says his players must handle the pressure of being at Manchester United

Erling Haaland scored twice as Manchester City ran riot against Man United at Old Trafford to wrap up another convincing win

Ten Hag cited United’s confidence-boosting victories before the derby, including their crucial Champions League win over Copenhagen following Andre Onana’s late penalty save

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‘While this has not been the start to the season that we had all hoped for, I am certain that we have the talent and attitude as a collective to move in the right direction. I believe that it is only a matter of time before we are showing our true selves. It will come, I am certain.

‘I continue to believe in these players and am confident we will improve after a difficult start to the season.’ Ten Hag was criticised over his tactics in the derby, and his players also came under fire for a limp performance.

‘There is no point in feeling sorry for ourselves at this moment in time,’ he adds.

‘Nobody at this club enjoys defeat, particularly in a Manchester derby like last Sunday, but everything we have achieved together so far has been built on looking forward, which means we have to move on quickly from what happens, whether it is positive or negative.

‘We have never spent too long enjoying our victories, so we will not spend too much time thinking about our losses. We must always look forward, together.

‘Before the derby, we won three games in a row and demonstrated our character on each occasion, so we have developed in recent weeks.

Man United are the defending champions after beating Newcastle in the final last season

‘We are also gradually getting some players back from injury, which gives us more options and allows us to select players in their natural positions.’ United’s win over Newcastle in February ended the club’s six-year wait for a trophy, and Ten Hag has urged his players to take the opportunity to reach the quarter-finals by beating Eddie Howe’s side again.

‘Our game management throughout that cup run, especially in the final against Newcastle, showed our ability to rise to big occasions – and this is definitely another big occasion for us.

‘We know how good it feels to lift this trophy and, as holders, we want to get back to Wembley Stadium again this season and defend the Carabao Cup.

‘This is cup football and there is no second chance if we don’t perform on the night.’


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