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‘I am a fighter’: Erik ten Hag defiant after Newcastle humble Manchester United

A defiant Erik ten Hag insisted he is a “fighter” and possesses the confidence to reverse Manchester United’s fortunes after Newcastle knocked the holders out of the Carabao Cup.

This was United’s second successive 3-0 home defeat, after Sunday’s loss to Manchester City, which had not happened since October 1962. Ten Hag’s side have also lost five of their opening 10 matches at Old Trafford – the first time United have done so since 1930.

Newcastle thrash Manchester United to turn up heat on Erik ten HagRead more

Ten Hag was asked if it was imperative that he is given time. “So I am a fighter and I know it is not always going to go up and we have a lot of setbacks this season,” said the Dutchman. “But also you have to deal with it and that is never an excuse.

“I have said that before. I know when there are setbacks but even then you have to get results. Sunday [and] tonight was far from that so we have to do things right at a certain level, the minimum level to win games.”

Ten Hag was asked about criticism from outside the club from pundits who are questioning his ability to manage United. He said: “I understand it when the results are not there it is also a logical process that they are questioning that. But I am confident I can do it. At all my clubs I have done it and also last year here I did it as well, but at this moment we are in a bad place. I take responsibility for it.

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“I see it as a challenge. I am a fighter and I am in that fight and I have to make sure that I share the responsibility with my players and that we stick together and fight together, and get better results.”

Goals from Miguel Almirón, Lewis Hall and Joe Willock were all due to lax United defending. “It is below the standards everyone expects from Manchester United. It is not good enough by far. We have to put it right. It is my team and they are not performing,” Ten Hag said.

Eddie Howe was understandably pleased. “A massive performance from the players. I can’t credit them enough,” he said.

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Newcastle were drawn away to Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the competition, while West Ham – who dumped Arsenal out – will travel to Liverpool.