Erik ten Hag calls reaction to Manchester United’s win over Coventry a ‘disgrace’

Dutchman hits out at claims that victory was ‘embarrassing’

Erik ten Hag has called the comments regarding Manchester United victory over Coventry in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final, in which they allowed a three-goal lead to slip, a “disgrace”.

United were 3-0 ahead against the Championship side going into the 71st minute of the game and seemingly comfortable only for Mark Robins’s team to stage a remarkable comeback and force extra-time, with their third goal coming in the 95th minute.

While United ultimately progressed to the final by winning 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out they received criticism for the ultimately narrow manner of their triumph. Prior to Sheffield United’s visit to Old Trafford on Wednesday, Ten Hag was asked if he could understand this reaction and made clear his feelings on the matter.

“No. Absolutely not,” said United’s manager. “You [the media] made enough [of it] and the question: ‘Is it embarrassing?’ No, the reaction from you was embarrassing. It is the comments. Top football is about results, we made it to a final and we deserved it not only by this game but also the other games.


“We lost control for 20 mins, we also had bad luck [at] 3-2 [deflected goal], 3-3 [questionable penalty]. Penalties were very good and we made it to the final, it is a huge achievement. Twice, in two years – is magnificent. For me as a manager [at United and Ajax], four cup finals in four years. The comments are a disgrace.”

After Rasmus Højlund’s spot-kick sealed the win for United, Antony turned to Coventry’s players and taunted them by cupping his ears. This led to further criticism but Ten Hag stated that the Brazilian only reacted because he had been taunted by the opposition in the first place.

“Did you see the reaction of Harry Maguire? [who commiserated with Coventry’s players],” said the manager. “He [Antony] was provoked – this was a reaction to that, you haven’t seen the provocation, only the reaction. But he should not do it.”

United are seventh ahead of hosting the Premier League’s bottom side, 16 points behind Aston Villa in fourth with six games remaining. Their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League appear slim and Ten Hag has now been hit with further injury concerns.

“We had a problem with [Alejandro] Garnacho – that’s why we took him off during the game but I think he will be fine,” he said. “Scott McTominay we have to assess today [Tuesday] – really doubtful. Marcus Rashford is also doubtful and there was also an issue with Bruno Fernandes with the hand but I think he can make it.

“We have to win every game – that’s what United stands for, that is our approach, go from game to game but we have to qualify for Europe and [then we have] the FA Cup final.”

Ten Hag met Jason Wilcox, United’s new technical director, for the first time on Monday. Alongside the manager, the former Blackburn winger will play an instrumental role in the club’s summer transfer business.

“Very close [we will work], we have to form a partnership, very important as we are a little behind in the process so we will go and speed up the process,” said Ten Hag. “This week we will not have so much time and I know his profile, a lot of experience in youth and one year at Southampton, I am looking forward to our partnership.” – Guardian