Erik ten Hag previews Carabao Cup final against annoying Newcastle

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has described Newcastle as an “annoying” team ahead of the League Cup final on Sunday.

The Reds go into the game seeking their first trophy in six-years, while it will be Newcastle’s first cup final since 1999 and they are looking for their first piece of silverware since 1969.

It goes without saying that it will be a big day out for both teams. Erik ten Hag will be looking for his first of many trophies as United manager and Thursday nights 2-1 win over Barcelona should fill the lads with confidence.

United were left frustrated by Newcastle earlier this season in their scoreless draw at Old Trafford. Marcus Rashford was unlucky not to win the game with his header and Nick Pope, who misses the final through suspension, will be remembered for his time-wasting. A tactic they are likely to use on Sunday without their first choice goalkeeper.

Other than being annoying, Ten Hag praised Newcastle’s progress under Eddie Howe and he expects a tough game at the weekend.

“It’s a great team with a clear philosophy about how they want to play the game,” Ten Hag said, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News. “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. They try to annoy you. We have to make sure we play our game and focus on our game.”

Ten Hag was asked about Newcastle’s time-wasting in response before adding: “Yeah. For instance, so if you see from the FA, the referees want 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.

“I’m not in the instructions of the opponents, so I don’t know (if Newcastle will miss Pope’s time-wasting). Also, I can’t influence that.

“We have to make it our game, so focus on the job and playing football when the ball is in the game, it’s about that, so fully concentrated on that. Don’t get distracted from what can be, whatever is on the pitch. We have to focus on the job we have to find our way and found out the moments we can strike.”

Hopefully, an early goal at the weekend cancels out any need for Newcastle to time-waste.

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