Manchester United boss addresses Newcastle’s time-wasting tactics this season

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag on the time-wasting tactics of Newcastle United

Speaking to the media ahead of the Carabao Cup Final (h/t Guardian), Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag talked about the time-wasting tactics of Newcastle United and gave the referees a warning about it.

Newcastle are one of the masters of wasting time to play the game at their own speed. If they have something to hold on to, expect every piece of skill applied to break the momentum of the opposition.

One of the main perpetrators of it – Nick Pope, is suspended for the final after getting a red card against Liverpool last Saturday. Expect his replacement to do the same come Sunday.

Here’s what ten Hag about the Magpies, their tactics and a message to the referees (h/t Guardian):

“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 that we play our game and we focus on our game.

 “The referees want to play effective time. [Newcastle] have the lowest [time played] in the league and they are quite successful with it. So, it’s up to us that we get speed in the game but also we are then dependent on the refereeing as well.”

The best way to negate this tactic is by scoring the first goal of the match. If United manage to do that, Newcastle won’t have much choice but to play in the game at a normal speed. Wembley has a big pitch, hence the pace we have is going to trouble them on the counter if we take the lead.

It is a big game for the current squad and the manager. He has done an excellent job since arriving last summer. But, his tenure at Old Trafford will always be judged on how many trophies are lifted.

Erik ten Hag would have "preferred" Manchester United vs Barcelona in Europa League final.
Erik ten Hag has asked the referees to keep a check on the time-wasting tactics of Newcastle United in the cup final. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

United have not won a major silverware in six years. We are alive in all four competitions this season going into the latter half of February. Irrespective of the outcome on Sunday, there are more trophies to be had by the end of May.

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We hope that the intensity of the Barcelona game does not catch up with us. The thing to note is that Newcastle had a full week to prepare for this game, while we have three days. Those are the perils of competing for every trophy in February.