Erik ten Hag says there are
“no second chances” for Manchester United in the Carabao Cup, as the Reds continue our defence of the trophy against Newcastle United on Wednesday.
The Magpies were the beaten opposition when we claimed the cup at Wembley in February, but Eddie Howe’s men sit above us in the Premier League table ahead of the Old Trafford encounter.
Our visitors from the North East have also claimed a notable scalp already this term, thrashing Paris Saint-Germain 4-1 in the UEFA Champions League.
In his column for United Review, the club’s official matchday programme, Ten Hag looks back at the heights we hit in the competition last season, in successfully seeing off Aston Villa, Burnley, Charlton Athletic and Nottingham Forest before the victory over Newcastle to end a six-year trophy drought.
The Dutchman reiterates his desire to repeat that success but warns that the Magpies are a team not to be trifled with, especially on a night where penalties come into the equation when the score is level after 90 minutes.
“As we welcome Eddie Howe and Newcastle United to Old Trafford, our focus moves back to the Carabao Cup and a reminder of how well we did to win this competition last season,”writes Ten Hag.
“Our game management throughout that cup run, especially in the final against Newcastle, showed our ability to rise to big occasions – and Wednesday night is definitely another big occasion for us.
“We always want to do as well as we possibly can in every competition we enter. We know how good it feels to lift this trophy and, as holders, we want to get back to Wembley Stadium again this season and defend the Carabao Cup.
“Against a strong opponent we know that we will have to be at our very best if we want to progress in this competition.
“This is cup football and there is no second chance if we don’t perform on the night.”
Ten Hag does not want to dwell on Sunday’s derby defeat to Manchester City and continues the column by saying he’s confident United will start to look ourselves again soon.
“At Manchester United, every game involves high stakes,” he adds.
“Every single day, there is pressure on everybody involved with this club, but those demands and standards are a challenge which we must always meet head-on.
“While this has not been the start to the season that we had all hoped for, I am certain that we have the talent and attitude as a collective to move in the right direction.
“I believe that it is only a matter of time before we are showing our true selves. It will come, I am certain.”