“The reaction from you was embarrassing”- Erik ten Hag takes strong defensive stance after media questioned Manchester United job

Erik ten Hag hits back at media for calling Manchester United’s win over Coventry City “embarrassing”

Erik ten Hag has hit back at the media for criticising Man United’s victory over Coventry City in the FA Cup semi-final this past Sunday.

The Red Devils had a showing to forget as they let the Championship side take the tie into extra time by coming back from 3-0 down. United ultimately won the game on penalties.

Ten Hag was asked in the press conference ahead of his side’s Premier League game against Sheffield United whether he thought the FA Cup win was embarrassing. He did not take it well.

Erik ten Hag hits back at media for calling Manchester United's win over Coventry City "embarrassing". (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images) (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Coventry scored three goals in the space of 24 minutes in the second half to take the game into extra time on Sunday. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images) (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

“No, I absolutely can’t understand the reaction [from the media]. You asked the question: ‘Was it embarrassing?’ No, the reaction from you was embarrassing.”

“In top football, it’s about results. We made it through to the final and we deserved it. Not just in this game, but also in the other games. We were in control until the last 20 minutes, and we also had bad luck.

“We were very lucky in the end with the penalties, but we made it to the final and that is a huge achievement. Twice in two years is magnificent. For me as a manager, four cup finals in four years.

“So, the comments are a disgrace.”

Ten Hag, as quoted by Sky Sports News

United have set up an FA Cup final rematch against Man City next month.

They face Sheffield United on Wednesday in the first of their last six league games of the season in an attempt to gain momentum ahead of the FA Cup final. The Red Devils’ Champions League hopes are all but extinguished, while Sheffield United’s relegation to the Championship is only a matter of time.

Defiance in press conferences won’t save Ten Hag’s job

One can understand Ten Hag’s frustration given he was asked a question deliberated towards an acerbic answer. That said, he can be defiant in his press conferences as much as he wants; it will not change the reality.

And the reality is that United’s performances have rarely been convincing this season, and they certainly were anything but on Sunday.

Man United’s 2023/24 season has had performances to forget but lessons to remember. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

With a lack of results to defend his case, the Dutchman can only expect scrutiny upon his words and actions to increase in the final weeks of the season.

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Ten Hag is running out of chances to save his job ahead of next season. Failing to get a result on Wednesday will only accelerate that process.