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Ten Hag urges Man Utd to ‘rise to the occasion’ against Newcastle

champions league group a galatasaray v manchester united
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag

Manchester United must eliminate individual errors and play at their highest level when they travel to face top-four rivals Newcastle United in a Premier League clash on Saturday, manager Erik ten Hag said.

United, who are sixth in the league standings with 24 points — one ahead of seventh-placed Newcastle, were held to a 3-3 draw in the Champions League by Galatasaray on Wednesday, in which goalkeeper Andre Onana made two costly errors.

Ten Hag said his side had played well against Galatasaray, but admitted that they still needed to raise their level, telling reporters: “We have to do some things better.

“Eliminate individual errors, defensive transition, but we can sort this out and I would be more concerned if we didn’t play well.

“I really respect (Newcastle). It’s a difficult team to play but it’s a good challenge and I like to play against them. We have to rise to the occasion and be at our best against them because the way they play is very organised.”

Ten Hag also praised 18-year-old midfielder Mainoo, who impressed in his first start for the club on Sunday, playing a starring role in United’s 3-0 victory at Everton.

Asked about Mainoo’s best attribute, Ten Hag said: “His scanning, it looks like he always has time because he is scanning, he is running free, he is scanning to see the options and make the right decisions.

“He can delay, can speed up, he makes the right decisions.”

However, Ten Hag said the England Under-19 player could be rested against Newcastle, adding: “We have to manage three games in six days to get the best results from all the games.

“We have more than 11 players, we have good options there. Sofyan Amrabat showed he was playing a good game. We have to manage the load of the players and it’s about freshness as well.”

‘GOOD GAMES’

Ten Hag’s counterpart Eddie Howe said he was relishing the prospect of facing United at St James’ Park, telling a press conference: “I think they are very good games.

“We respect their team and their manager. They are an outstanding team and I think these games against the bigger clubs are always very difficult and always decided by fine margins.

“In big moments you are looking for big players to step up and potentially win you the game. I think that is the situation we are in, but we know we are going to have to be at our very best to win.”

Howe also provided an injury update on Sean Longstaff and Joe Willock, saying both players would not feature against United.

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