Erik ten Hag and Anthony Martial were involved in an angry exchange as Manchester United slipped to a sixth defeat of the season in the latest blow to their hopes of a top-four finish.
The Manchester United manager said he was “trying to get a reaction” with his “aggressive” coaching after French forward Martial gestured angrily at him in response to Ten Hag singling out him and Marcus Rashford for criticism, owing to their failure to track back during the first-half.
The ineffectual forward pair were hauled off on the hour as the Old Trafford club stretched their unwanted record of not having won away at a top-eight Premier League side since October 2021, a run of 13 games.
Ten Hag, whose side were fortunate only to lose 1-0 as Anthony Gordon scored early in the second half, said: “It’s not about Anthony Martial, I don’t go into individual performances. I tried to energise the team and tried to get a reaction. We had a tough period and your coaching is a little bit more aggressive – that’s normal.”
Anthony Martial is yet to complete a full 90 minutes this season...
Erik Ten Hag stormed onto the touchline to berate Martial during the first-half 👀 pic.twitter.com/yp0t4pLX2w
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Rashford has looked a shadow of the player who scored 34 goals last season, and Ten Hag added: “I will talk to Marcus and not the media. He is investing a lot and we’ll support him. He will return to form. He works hard, he will recover and he will get all our support.
“We have to give credit to Newcastle, they were better than us – more proactive. We allowed them a goal but then fought back and had two good late chances.
“If you lose you’re always unhappy and we will talk with the team about why. We’re resilient and we have to get ready for the next game on Wednesday and don’t stay too long on this game. The team is resilient and has the character to bounce back.
“I’m not hoping [they will get better] – I am sure. You always want to play the perfect game but we have so many matches in a short period you and we know we have to pick it up.”