Man Utd stars get strict orders in Steve McClaren tunnel exchange after Newcastle defeat | Football | Sport

Man Utd stars get strict orders in Steve McClaren tunnel exchange after Newcastle defeat | Football | Sport

United were second best from the get-go on Tyneside, attempting eight shots to Newcastle’s 22 and accumulating a 0.48 xG compared to the hosts’ 2.50.

Ten Hag and Harry Maguire cited the congested fixture schedule as a significant factor in their uninspired display in yet another defeat to a top-half Premier League side.

United travelled to Istanbul for an exhausting 3-3 Champions League draw against Galatasaray on Wednesday, three days after visiting Goodison Park to beat Everton 3-0.

While Newcastle’s games in the build-up came one day earlier than United’s, Eddie Howe’s injury problems currently eclipse those of Ten Hag’s.

That didn’t stop his players from busting a gut for the entire 100 minutes, showing the hunger and desire to be superior to the visitors.

United, who suffered frustrating travel drama earlier in the day, looked like they couldn’t wait to get the coach back to Manchester.

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The Red Devils’ flight was cancelled after they arrived at Manchester Airport, prompting them to take a three-hour coach journey to the north-east instead.

But that’s no excuse for the performance – especially when thousands of fans descended on Newcastle in freezing conditions for a late kick-off with little thought from the Premier League.

And there certainly isn’t an excuse for the reported behaviour of some of Ten Hag’s players after full-time, which will have angered the travelling support.

According to the Manchester Evening News, United assistant Steve McClaren had to wait at the tunnel to instruct players who attempted to make a quick exit to clap the away fans after full-time.

It’s the minimum requirement for any away game, but the disappointing revelation proves that Ten Hag is still far from filling his dressing room with the correct characters.

United’s defeat at Newcastle was their fifth in as many games against top-half Premier League sides this season, scoring just twice and conceding 12 in those fixtures.

Ten Hag has yet to oversee an away win at a top-eight team since taking charge of United last summer. United’s last such win came in October 2021 – damning reading.

The Old Trafford giants won’t have to wait long for their next such game if Chelsea beat Brighton and Hove Albion to move into 10th today. They must respond when Mauricio Pochettino’s side visit M16 on Wednesday.

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