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Erik ten Hag takes positives from Manchester United’s draw with Newcastle United

Erik ten Hag takes positives from Manchester United’s draw with Newcastle United

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag has said that his side can take positives from their goalless draw with Newcastle United at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils drew for the first time in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon, with the result leaving them in fifth position in the table, boasting 16 points from their opening nine matches.

Fred and Marcus Rashford had opportunities to win it for the 20-time English champions late on, but both players were unable to find the back of the net in the 0-0.

“We are disappointed we didn’t win as the performance was good. A clean sheet, we pressed well from the front to the back and we controlled it, I think. I thought we were good on the ball in stages, especially the second half,” Ten Hag told reporters.

“We were a little bit erratic in the first half. You see a physical team as Newcastle, we matched them, at least. In the end, we could have won and we deserved to win.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag on October 2, 2022© Reuters

“It’s a big compliment to the team that we could deserve this with a physical performance against maybe the best physical team in the league. When you can deliver this, you keep going.

“All details (what positives he could take), the pressing was even better in the second half and, especially on the ball, we were better and more composed. We beat them in the midfield and we created chances.

“They gave everything they had, individually and team-wise and deserved winning because we created the chances. We missed two huge chances – we could, and should, have scored the winning goal. It was a good run by Rashy for Fred and the last one was a good cross by Casemiro and Rashy had to score.

“In the end, it was the physical and then the mentality. How we kept going. We gave them cramp because we made them run when we were on the ball, because our pressing was good. In the end, we broke them but didn’t kill them by not scoring. So I’m pleased with the performance but disappointed by the result.”

Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag on July 31, 2022© Reuters

Christian Eriksen was a notable absentee against Newcastle, with Ten Hag revealing that the Denmark international was unwell, while Rashford was also left out of the starting XI due to not feeling 100%.

“He [Eriksen] is ill, so we have some illness, also Rashford is under the weather and also feels not quite well but he has enough energy to play a couple of minutes in the game,” the Dutchman told MUTV ahead of the game.

Anthony Martial was also absent, with the France international not recovering from the back injury that he picked up against Everton in time for the contest with the Magpies.

Man United will now switch their attention to Wednesday’s Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur before heading to Stamford Bridge next weekend to take on Chelsea.

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