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“Not fair…” – Erik ten Hag disagrees with Roy Keane’s assessment of certain Man United player



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Credit: Man Utd / Sky Sports

Erik ten Hag has come to the defence of his Manchester United squad following criticism from the likes of former captain Roy Keane.

The Reds have been disappointing in terms of their performances and results so far this season under Ten Hag.

That has led to major scrutiny towards both the manager and players at Old Trafford.

Anthony Martial, in particular, has taken the brunt of the media’s force as several ex-players hone in on the Frenchman.

Roy Keane mocked Martial’s scoring record for United before issuing a scathing assessment of his overall performance during the loss against Newcastle last week.

“I know he’s an easy target, we forgive Martial that he scores a goal every 14 years. I’ll actually forgive a player for that,” started Keane whilst speaking on Sky Sports.

“But let me tell you, when we’re at Newcastle and under pressure, and we put the ball up to you better get hold of that ball, just to get us up the pitch, get some breathing space, maybe win a free-kick.

“And he’s touching balls up and just giving the ball away cheaply, and you’re thinking he might as well go down the leagues. Man United were trying to get rid of him a few years ago.”

However, Ten Hag has come out against this criticism of the striker, who has started just four Premier League games this season.

During his press conference, the case was put to him that Martial wasn’t trying against Newcastle. Ten Hag responded: “But Anthony Martial played brilliant against Everton, and I don’t think it is fair to point to one player…”

Then questioned that it is a number of players not trying, he continued: “I don’t think [anyone] is doing it. If you have one moment you can’t [say it is] a pattern.

“The week before, we played brilliantly and with a lot of energy in the team and [in] two games [with] a lot of energy in the team and spirit and I see all the games before – I mentioned Fulham, I mentioned Burnley, I mentioned Brentford and all the games like Luton.

“There were so many games that give evidence [of our fight]. If it was a pattern, then it is different, yeah. But this is not a pattern in this season, absolutely not. Everyone is giving their best, and there is unity as a team.”