The Man United players were grilled in their dressing room after the 2-0 defeat at Newcastle… after an exasperated Luke Shaw stormed into his teammates claiming the Magpies had won it because of passion, hunger, desire, attitude and motivation.
Manchester United’s players were questioned in the dressing room after manager Erik ten Hag told them they lacked maturity and desire during the 2-0 defeat by Newcastle United.
The hosts had 22 shots to the visitors’ six and were in control well before second half goals from Joe Willock and Callum Wilson saw the Magpies jump to third.
Ten Hag did not shy away from his players’ criticism and said he agreed with defender Luke Shaw, who admitted Newcastle wanted it more.
“I totally agree and that was also my assessment,” Ten Hag said. They were more persistent, and they had more aggressiveness and desire.
I was surprised we couldn’t match the opponent’s determination and passion. If you want to win big matches, you have to be mature, and I didn’t see that.
Luke Shaw said he and his Manchester United teammates didn’t want it enough
Newcastle outlasted their top four rivals with a convincing 2-0 win at St James’ Park
Shaw said: “I think Newcastle are a very good team but I don’t think they won the game with great quality today.
They clearly have a higher incentive than we did, which is not possible.
I won’t get into it too much, but the guys had a conversation afterward with no crew around, because it’s up to us on the field. It’s not good enough and we had to talk in front of each other.
“He was coming, before the international break, we’d have gone downhill. The levels weren’t there. It’s just not good enough and it’s not acceptable.
United remained fourth in the table and into the final stages of the FA Cup and Europa League. However, speaking on Sky Sports, Gary Neville said: ‘They’re not fooling anyone with regards to the bigger picture of where they need to go.
Erik ten Hag will need to make sure they continue to improve, but there are worrying signs in these big matches away from home. They just don’t show up. They were never in that game today. They deserved a beating.
Neville also questioned the wisdom of both centre-backs’ sacking at 1-0, after which he said the team had become “a mess”.
Ten Hag hit back: “It was at the end of the game. You’re 1-0 down and you risk everything, to come up against one at the back. We created a good chance with Anthony Martial and that was our best chance. It’s always difficult when time runs out.”
Callum Wilson’s goal shortly before the end ensured that Newcastle would claim all three points
St James’ Park was a cacophony of noise during the game – and throughout after an important win
Meanwhile, Newcastle manager Eddie Howe got into a furious exchange with Ten Hag in the second half as the hosts ran down the clock. Howe was pointing out that Tin Hag’s side did the same with a 0-0 draw.
It came after the United boss called Newcastle “annoying” and accused them of wasting time earlier in the season.
But Howe said: “I want to make one thing clear – we want the ball in play. We want a fast game. I don’t understand where this time-wasting nonsense came from, because it’s not us as you saw today, we wanted the ball back in play as quickly as possible. High energy, pace. High.
Howe added of the altercation with his counterpart: ‘I will always defend my team. I will always stand up for what I think is right, which I always will. I think if something is inaccurate, you naturally want to make the right point.
But we totally deserved to win. We showed real faith. Today it’s a blueprint for how we want the team to play, at almost every stage.