Erik ten Haag admits his Manchester United side are “in a bad place” after another humiliating defeat to Newcastle United, but insists he is “a fighter” as his job at Old Trafford is questioned.
Manager Eddie Howe made eight changes to his team but United lost 3-0 at Old Trafford for the second time in four days as Newcastle progressed to the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.
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The Dutch coach, who won three league titles with Ajax, was jeered by Newcastle fans throughout the game as they said he would be sacked in the morning. While there has been no suggestion that Ten Haag’s position is under threat, United’s poor form is a growing concern.
“I’m a fighter,” Ten Haag said in his post-match press conference. “I understand that when results are not available it is also a logical process that they are questioning it. But I am confident that I can do it.
“I’ve done it at all my clubs and I did it well here last year, but at the moment we’re in a bad place.”
After losing 3-0 at home to Manchester City on Sunday, United have now lost back-to-back games by three or more goals at Old Trafford for the first time since 1962 and have lost five of their first 10 home games in a season. For the first time since the 1930s.
Miguel Almiron, Lewis Hall and Joe Willock got the goals for a much-changed Newcastle side as United managed just two shots on target.
“It’s below the standards everyone expects from Manchester United,” added ten Haag. “It’s not good enough so far. We have to fix it. I take responsibility for it. It’s my team and they’re not performing. I have to share it with my players, but I’m responsible.
“As a team we are not good enough and whatever the reason, there is no room for excuses. We have to do things better and raise our standards because otherwise you will never get the right level and performance and get results.”
Manchester United beat Newcastle in last year’s Carabao Cup final, so the result was a measure of revenge for Howe, who will face Chelsea in the quarter-finals.