Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag’s Newcastle United description that Eddie Howe will love
After being frustrated by Europa League minnows Omonia Nicosia on Thursday night despite a 93rd minute winner from Scott McTominay, Manchester United face a Newcastle side who boast the joint best defensive record in the Premier League.
The Magpies have conceded just nine goals so far this season and head into the match on the back of consecutive 4-1 and 5-1 wins over Fulham and Brentford respectively.
And the Man United boss wants to see things improve in front of goal for his side this weekend.
“Our finishing was not so good and we only hit the net once but it was enough to win the game and I’m happy with that,” he said following the 1-0 win over Omonia.
“We kept believing, we didn’t give up and I have to give the team a compliment because we were so patient.
"Let’s hope we were saving our goals for the weekend and Newcastle United.”
When asked about Newcastle in his pre-match press conference, ten Hag was quick to highlight the ‘intensity’ Magpies head coach Eddie Howe prides himself on and his team on.
‘Intensity is our identity’ has become the squad’s unofficial motto under Howe.
“They do really well,” said the Manchester United boss. “I think it’s a team that can play in high intensity with a lot of energy so that makes it a tough opponent and we know we have to play our best to get the right result.”
Ten Hag added: “I go always from game to game, and it gives another impetus on the team to believe I think.
"The spirit is already good but it will give a push in that spirit again and it will help the belief in the squad. But for the rest, we have to go game to game, and we’re going to be against tough opponents but we are really looking forward.
"They are really [good] tests for us as a squad to go in the battles and it delivers energy.”