Erik ten Hag calls criticism of Manchester United ’embarrassing’: ‘The comments are a disgrace’

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Erik ten Hag calls criticism of Manchester United ’embarrassing’: ‘The comments are a disgrace’

Erik ten Hag believes criticism of the manner of Manchester United’s progress to the FA Cup final is “embarrassing” and labelled some comments aimed at his team “a disgrace”.

United defeated Championship side Coventry City in a penalty shootout following a 3-3 draw, in which Ten Hag’s side squandered a three-goal lead in the final 20 minutes.

Goals from Scott McTominay, Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes had appeared to put United on course for a comfortable victory but Ellis Simms, Callum O’Hare and a stoppage-time Haji Wright penalty forced extra-time, with Viktor Torp’s 120th-minute goal for Coventry ruled out for a marginal offside following a VAR decision.

United won 4-2 on penalties after O’Hare’s effort was saved by Andre Onana and Ben Sheaf missed the target, allowing Rasmus Hojlund to score the winning penalty and set-up a final against Manchester City for the second successive season.

When asked if the manner of United’s progress to the final was embarrassing, Ten Hag responded: “No, the reaction from you (the media) was embarrassing. It is the comments.



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“Top football is about results, we made it to a final and we deserved it not only in this game but also the other games.

“We lost control for 20 minutes and we also had bad luck when the game went to 3-2 and then 3-3. And yes, at the end we were very lucky — that is clear.

“Our penalties were very good and we made it to the final, it is a huge achievement. Two finals in two years is magnificent. For me as a manager, four cup finals in four years. The comments are a disgrace.”

Ten Hag was then asked about the lack of focus from his players in letting a three-goal lead slip to Championship opposition. “I know that, so first of all, the most important thing we can do is to put ourselves in a winning position is by good structure,” the United boss said.

“We have seen that on many occasions, we have seen that in the first goal and other games but to bring the game over the line, some things have to do with mentality, physicality and we don’t have the tools as well. We are making compromises with our back four, we need to be creative because of absences and with our substitutions.

“We need to read the game and know that when the opposition are taking more risks, we need to improve but we also need a full squad to help repair that.”

Ten Hag insisted that Antony’s reaction to the shootout win, in which he cupped his ears in the direction of Coventry players, was a result of provocation but admitted that the Brazilian should not have reacted in that manner.

Antony reacted to the shootout win by cupping his ears to Coventry players (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Antony reacted to the shootout win by cupping his ears to Coventry players (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

“Did you see the reaction of Harry Maguire?,” Ten Hag asked, referencing the defender immediately shaking the hands of his opponents and consoling them.

“He (Antony) was provoked and that was a reaction of that, you haven’t seen the provocation only the reaction. But he should not do it.

“I have seen Harry Maguire straight after and others, we should acknowledge the performance of Coventry and the comeback.

“We are 70 minutes totally dominating the game by far and 3-0 must have been the game is closed but the return from their side was very good.”



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(Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)