Erik ten Hag explains why he screamed at Anthony Martial in Newcastle defeat

  • Martial was targeted by a furious Ten Hag as Man Utd fell 1-0 to Newcastle on Saturday
  • Frenchman was making just his fourth Premier League start of the season
  • Man Utd have the option to extend Martial's contract until 2025
Martial was singled out by Ten Hag during the game
Martial was singled out by Ten Hag during the game / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has revealed he was trying to "energise the team" when he called out Anthony Martial during the first half of Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United.

Martial had bagged a goal and an assist last time out in the Premier League and was rewarded with the nod against Newcastle, but he would only make it to the hour mark before being hauled off as United fell to a crushing defeat.

During the first half of the game, Ten Hag stepped up to the touchline to berate Martial for failing to track back, with the Frenchman responding with a less-than-pleased gesture towards his manager.

Asked about the incident after the game, Ten Hag insisted it was nothing specific against Martial and more a general message to his entire squad.

"It’s not about Anthony Martial, I don’t go into individual performances," he claimed. "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."

Erik ten Hag
Ten Hag was unhappy with Martial / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

It was a bitterly disappointing performance from United, who lost the possession battle and conceded 22 shots on goal, and Ten Hag confessed his side deserved to lose.

"We have to give credit to Newcastle, they were better than us - more proactive," Ten Hag acknowledged. "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."

United are back in action on Wednesday with a visit from Chelsea, with both sides desperate to come out on top and ease the pressure on their respective managers.