Manchester United’s dismal start to the season continued last night, crashing out of the Carabao Cup to Newcastle United at Old Trafford.
The visitors comfortably swatted United aside by three goals to nil, exacting revenge for last year’s defeat in the final of the same competition.
Erik ten Hag made seven changes from the Derby defeat to City at the weekend with Brazilian winger Antony rewarded for his petulant cameo on Sunday with a starting place last night.
The forward, along with his teammates, didn’t do much to repay the manager’s faith, producing a powderpuff display and piling the pressure on Ten Hag.
As reported by Metro, the manager was quizzed on the form of his former Ajax player and tried to defend the underperforming winger.
“There is also the team, first, the team is not playing well, when they don’t bring him the balls, again, I’m also responsible for that,” said the boss.
Ten Hag then admitted Antony isn’t playing at the level he can and urged him, and his teammates, to regain their form.
“But, obviously, also, there’s a lot of noise and that dropped his levels. He can do better, but all the players can do better,” he said.
The boss then praised the winger’s personality and has backed him to get back to his Ajax form and make his mark at Old Trafford.
“Antony is also a fighter, he has the confidence, he is brave, I am confident he will bring the performance that (shows) he is the right player for us.”, he added.
Ten Hag also took responsibility for United’s alarming form at the start of his second season in charge, promising fans he will do all he can to reverse the fortunes of his underperforming side.
‘It is below the standards everyone expects from Manchester United – it is not good enough by far.
At this moment we are in a bad place. I take responsibility for it. I see it as a challenge.
I am a fighter and I am in that fight and I have to make sure that I share the responsibility with my players and that we stick together and fight together, and get better results,” said Ten Hag.
United face a massive week upcoming, with a trip to Fulham for the early kick-off in the Premier League on Saturday before travelling to Denmark to face Copenhagen in the crunch Champions League group game, next Wednesday.