Newcastle annoying to play against – Ten Hag

The ball was in play for 53.4% of the match when Manchester United drew 0-0 with Newcastle at Old Trafford in October

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says Newcastle are an “annoying team to play against” because of their time-wasting.

Manchester United face Newcastle in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final at Wembley.

Newcastle have the ball in play 52.3% of a match, the second lowest in the Premier League this season behind Leeds with 51.8%.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp criticised the Magpies for time-wasting in a 2-1 win in August.

Manchester City keep the ball in play the most at 61.6%, while Manchester United stand at 57.3%.

“I think it’s a great team with a clear philosophy about how they [Newcastle] want to play the game,” Ten Hag said. “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.”

Asked to clarify his comments, the Dutchman added: “For instance, referees want to play effective time. They have the lowest 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.”

He added: “We have to make it our game, so focus on the job we have to do, focus on playing football when the ball is in the game. Don’t get distracted from what can be, whatever is on the pitch. We have to focus on the job and find our way and find the moments where we can strike.”

Rashford doubt for final

Ten Hag said he did not know whether top scorer Marcus Rashford would be fit for Sunday’s final after coming off injured in Thursday’s 2-1 win over Barcelona as United sealed their place in the last 16 of the Europa League.

The England forward was substituted in the 88th minute and later posted on Instagram an image of himself walking down the touchline looking in discomfort accompanied by a bandaged emoji.

Asked if he was available, Ten Hag said: “I don’t know. So, players now are coming in. We have to do investigations, medical of course.

“We have to wait for a 100% diagnosis, so we have to wait.”

French striker Anthony Martial has definitely been ruled out through injury.

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