Erik ten Hag breaks silence after refusing to do press conference before Newcastle United match
In the aftermath of Sunday’s Old Trafford humiliation against Manchester City, Erik ten Hag and Manchester United refused to stage a press conference ahead of Wednesday night’s match, to avoid having to answer the awkward questions the manager would have been faced with.
With Manchester United in turmoil and Erik ten Hag understood to be set for the sack if things don’t rapidly improve, they refused to meet the media before their next match.
Clubs and their managers (or somebody in their place) have an obligation to do press conferences for matches in the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League, however, there is no such requirement for clubs / managers to hold press conferences in advance of Carabao Cup games.
Eddie Howe and Newcastle United didn’t bottle their (moral, if not contractual) duty to the fans and staged their press conference on Tuesday morning, though for Erik ten Hag and Manchester United they very much bottled it, refusing to appear having lost seven of their last twelve matches in the Premier League and Champions League.
Having spent over £400m in just three transfer windows and most of that money clearly wasted, Erik ten Hag and his team / club not just losing, but humiliated in that latest defeat against Manchester City on Sunday.
Having refused to meet journalists, Erik ten Hag has now finally broken his silence.
However, he has done it from the safety of the match programme, where he doesn’t have to face any awkward questions.
Judging by what I am reading from Manchester United fans about Erik ten Hag ahead of this Newcastle United game, I think fair to say a lot of them will find laughable some of their manager’s claims.
Erik ten Hag’s comments via Wednesday’s Man U v Newcastle United matchday programme:
“At Manchester United, every game involves high stakes.
“Every single day, there is pressure on everybody involved with this club, but those demands and standards are a challenge which we must always meet head-on.
“While this has not been the start to the season that we had all hoped for, I am certain that we have the talent and attitude as a collective to move in the right direction.
“I believe that it is only a matter of time before we are showing our true selves. It will come, I am certain.
“There is no point in feeling sorry for ourselves at this moment in time.
“Nobody at this club enjoys defeat, particularly in a Manchester derby like last Sunday, but everything we have achieved together so far has been built on looking forward, which means we have to move on quickly from what happens, whether it is positive or negative.
“We have never spent too long enjoying our victories, so we will not spend too much time thinking about our losses. We must always look forward, together.
“I continue to believe in these players and am confident we will improve after a difficult start to the season.
“On Sunday, in the first half particularly, we showed good defensive discipline and we created opportunities to counter-attack, but we were unable to capitalise on those chances at decisive times in the game.
“Important moments went against us and we were once again reminded that any mistake is punished at the highest level.
“Before the derby, we won three games in a row and demonstrated our character on each occasion, so we have developed in recent weeks.
“We are also gradually getting some players back from injury, which gives us more options and allows us to select players in their natural positions.
“As we welcome Eddie Howe and Newcastle United to Old Trafford, our focus moves back to the Carabao Cup and a reminder of how well we did to win this competition last season.
“Our game management throughout that cup run, especially in the final against Newcastle, showed our ability to rise to big occasions – and tonight is definitely another big occasion for us.
“We always want to do as well as we possibly can in every competition we enter.
“We know how good it feels to lift this trophy and, as holders, we want to get back to Wembley Stadium again this season and defend the Carabao Cup.”
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