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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has explained that his vocal exchange with Anthony Martial during Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Newcastle was aimed at “energizing the team.” Martial, who had showcased a goal and an assist in the previous Premier League outing, received the start against Newcastle but was substituted around the hour mark as United faced a disappointing loss.

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Ten Hag clarified that his interaction with Martial was not specifically targeting the player but rather intended as a general message to the entire squad. The manager emphasized his attempt to boost the team’s energy levels and generate a response during a challenging period.

“It’s not about Anthony Martial; I don’t go into individual performances,” stated Ten Hag. “I tried to energize 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.”

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Reflecting on the overall performance, Ten Hag admitted that Newcastle deserved credit for outplaying United, asserting that they were more proactive. Despite the defeat, he highlighted his team’s resilience and character, expressing the need to swiftly shift focus to the upcoming game against Chelsea on Wednesday.

“If you lose, you’re always unhappy, and we will talk with the team about why. We’re resilient and have to get ready for the next game on Wednesday and not stay too long on this game. The team is resilient and has the character to bounce back,” Ten Hag concluded.

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