Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag warns referee over ‘annoying’ Newcastle and questions time-wasting tactics


Ten Hag issued a subtle warning to Sunday’s referee David Coote (Picture: MUTV)

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has labelled Newcastle United an ‘annoying’ side and believes they have been ‘successful’ with time-wasting tactics this season.

The two sides meet in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final with both ten Hag and Eddie Howe seeking to deliver their first piece of silverware for their respective clubs.

Newcastle have been accused of time-wasting tactics this season, with Mikel Arteta left frustrated following Arsenal’s 0-0 draw in January where the ball was in play for just 52 per cent of the game.

Ten Hag claims Newcastle have had the ball in play for the least amount of time in the Premier League this season and insists his side must find a way to play through it.

‘I think it is a great team with a clear philosophy of how they want to play the game,’ ten Hag told a press conference on Friday.

‘They key word is intensity so they do really well. It is an annoying team to play against so we have to find a way to play against them.

Ten Hag added: ‘They try to annoy you. So we have to make sure we play our game and focus on our game.’

Eddie Howe

Eddie Howe’s side have been accused of time-wasting this season (Picture: Getty)

Asked if it was specifically Newcastle’s time-wasting tactics that annoyed him, ten Hag added: ‘For instance, if you see from the FA, the referees want to play an effective time. They have the lowest in the league [time when the ball is in play] 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.’

Newcastle will be missing first choice goalkeeper Nick Pope on Sunday after he was shown a straight red card in the defeat to Liverpool last weekend.

Asked if his absence could impact Newcastle’s efforts to run the clock down, he said: ‘I’m not in the instructions of the opponents, so I don’t know. 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.’

MORE : Manchester United face nervous wait over Marcus Rashford injury ahead of Carabao Cup final against Newcastle

MORE : Europa League last-16 draw: Arsenal play Sporting CP; Manchester United to face Real Betis

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