Ten Hag responds to questions about effort

Tuesday 05 December 2023 13:30

Erik ten Hag believes a demanding run of away fixtures caught up with his players against Newcastle United, but he is not making excuses – the Manchester United boss accepts everybody must do better.

The Reds performed well during the 3-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park before fighting until the very end of a demanding 3-3 draw against Galatasaray in Istanbul.

After returning from Turkey during the early hours of Thursday morning, United regrouped and on Saturday travelled north to in-form Newcastle.

Although a draw was almost secured late on, the performance at St. James’ Park was below par and Ten Hag says the players are aware.  

Part one: Press conference v Chelsea Video

Part one: Press conference v Chelsea

Press conference part one | Watch every single second of a much-anticipated media briefing at Carrington...

“So, we are not robots,” explained Erik in his latest press conference.

“If you play three games in six days, tough games, by the end fatigue can be an issue. It can never be an excuse but it is there. 

“Against Galatasaray, against Everton, we played very good. Against Newcastle, we were not happy with our performance and we are the first to say that.

“The players are the first [to say that] and so self-critical that they admit this. We know we have to do better than this.”

United are now preparing for a run of three consecutive matches at Old Trafford, beginning with the visit of Chelsea in the Premier League on Wednesday. 

That much-anticipated game will be followed by another top-flight outing on Saturday afternoon, against Bournemouth. 

The third match in the sequence is an absolute blockbuster against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, with United needing a victory to maintain hopes of qualifying from Group A.