Ten Hag highlights Newcastle’s ‘annoying’ time-wasting ahead of Carabao Cup final

Erik ten Hag has described Newcastle as an ‘annoying team to play against’ due to their time-wasting, ahead of this weekend’s Carabao Cup clash.

Manchester United travel to Wembley on Sunday for the cup final of the season, the Red Devils looking to claim their first silverware since 2017.


They will come up against a high-flying Newcastle who currently sit fifth in the Premier League, and speaking ahead of the game, Ten Hag called for ‘intensity’ from his side, and described the Magpies as an ‘annoying team to play against.’

“It’s a great team with a clear philosophy about how they want to play the game,” Ten Hag said at the pre-match press conference. “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.”

Asked if Newcastle are “annoying” due to their time-wasting, Ten Hag replied: “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.”

The stats show that Newcastle have the second-lowest average in the Premier League this season, with the ball in play for 51mins 47secs during each match, with Leeds’ 51m05s the shortest. Manchester United have the sixth highest average of 55m44s, with Man City leading the particular metric with an average in-play time of 60m17s.

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