Manchester United are preparing for their return to action this weekend as Erik ten Hag’s men make the trip to face Newcastle United on Sunday.
The hosts will be seeking revenge for the Carabao Cup final defeat inflicted on them by United in February, with the Reds looking to further nail down a place in the Champions League places.
Victory over the Magpies would put United five points clear of Eddie Hower’s men and 11 points ahead of rivals Liverpool, who suffered another comprehensive defeat at the weekend.
Ahead of what will be the third meeting between the sides this season, Ten Hag was questioned about Newcastle’s knack of winding down the clock, admitting he knows they ‘delay’ the time.
“Concern? We know they delay,” Ten Hag said in his pre-match press conference.
“It’s something that is what the referees don’t want. They want tempo in the game. That is the aim of the Premier League, to have tempo in the game. They also have to be consistent to let the game go. To act what the policy is.”
Pressed further on whether Newcastle’s gamesmanship irritates him, Ten Hag insisted they are able to deal with it.
“You said the question but it is about us. Like we did in the two previous games, it is about us. We want, as every game, to dictate, control the game but we play against a good opponent, we are aware of that.
“They have a great season. They have their manager, with their way of play that is really a team that is hard to beat but we are looking forward to the challenge. We have already many challenges this season and we have shown that we can beat them.”
Ten Hag was handed a huge boost going into the game as it emerged that Marcus Rashford was available for selection after being forced to pull out of action for England last week.
Anthony Martial, who has endured yet another season plagued with injuries, could also make his return to the side after an extended spell of first-team training.
Christian Eriksen’s recovery is believed to be going well but the trip comes to soon for the Danish international, who could instead feature next week.