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Erik Ten Hag says reaction to Manchester United’s FA Cup win was ’embarrassing’

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 23 Apr 2024

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Erik Ten Hag has branded the reaction to Manchester United’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Coventry “embarrassing” and “a disgrace”.

Having let slip a 3-0 lead at Wembley with 20 minutes to go and then won on penalties after the Championship side had an extra-time goal disallowed for a marginal offside, United were heavily criticised by pundits and fans alike despite making it back-to-back finals.

Ten Hag met a question about whether he understood the response at a press conference ahead of Wednesday’s clash against Sheffield United with a feisty response, saying: “No, absolutely not.

“The question: ‘Is it embarrassing?’ No, the reaction from you was embarrassing. It is the comments. Top football is about results, we made it to a final and we deserved it not only by this game but also the other games.

“We lost control for 20 minutes, we also had bad luck, 3-2, 3-3. We were very lucky in the end, clear. Penalties was very good and we made it to the final, it is a huge achievement. Twice in two years is magnificent.

“For me as a manager, four cup finals in four years. The comments are a disgrace.”

Antony has come in for particular criticism after he cupped his ear with his hand in a mocking gesture towards the Coventry players when Rasmus Hojlund netted the winning penalty.

Ten Hag accepted Antony was wrong but claimed he was provoked, saying: “That’s why, this 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 to come into that…and the comeback. Also see we are 70 minutes totally dominating the game by far and creating many chances.

“At 3-0 it must have been the game is closed but the return from their side was very good.”

The collapse added further intensity to the spotlight on Ten Hag’s position, and on Friday United announced that Jason Wilcox had left Southampton with immediate effect to become their new technical director.

Ten Hag said he was looking forward to working very closely with the former winger, adding: “We have to form a partnership, it’s very important. We are a little behind in the process so we have to catch up, so we will go and speed up the process.

“I met him yesterday for the first time, we had some talks. This week we will not have so much time but from Monday on we will go forward.

“Of course I know his profile, I know his methods in youth, a lot of experience there and then one year at Southampton. I know his background so I am looking forward to our partnership.”

United’s injury crisis continued at Wembley, with Alejandro Garnacho, Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay and Bruno Fernandes all picking up problems.

McTominay and Rashford are both doubtful for Wednesday but Ten Hag expects Garnacho and Fernandes to be able to play.

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