The pre-League Cup Final mind games have begun.
Erik ten Hag has branded Newcastle “annoying” and accused them of time-wasting tactics ahead of tomorrow's EFL Cup final.
Ten Hag's Manchester United take on Eddie Howe's side at Wembley, with the Dutchman claiming Newcastle are one of the most annoying opponents they could face – because of their underhand tactics.
Old Trafford boss Ten Hag claimed Howe's side have the ball in play for the least amount of time in the Premier League and warned his players not to get wound up by the tactic. The United boss called on EFL Cup final referee David Coote to keep an eye on Newcastle's time-wasting at Wembley.
Ten Hag said: “It's a great team, they have a clear philosophy about how they want to play the game.
“The key word is intensity, they do really well, but 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 play our game and focus on our game.”
Asked why he found Newcastle so annoying, Ten Hag said: “For instance, so if you see the referee want to play an 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 and we are also then dependent on the refereeing as well.”