Erik ten Hag has warned his Manchester United players not to get “lazy” following their Carabao Cup final triumph against Newcastle like Sir Alex Ferguson did.
The Red Devils won their first trophy since May 2017 with a 2-0 victory over the Magpies at Wembley on Sunday. Man United defeated Newcastle in a tense battle between the two Premier League clubs thanks to goals from Casemiro and Marcus Rashford.
Man United is also vying for the Europa League, FA Cup, and Premier League title this season. Ten Hag would have considered a top-four finish and trophies to be a triumph at the start of the season, but the Dutchman wants more.
“That shows something, silverware, that you are on a good route, that you are heading in the right manner,” Ten Hag said after the game. “It is one cup and it is February, but it shows we are in the right track. This has to be the inspiration and incentive to keep going, to stay on this path, and to grow.
“Fine, be happy for 24 hours but not satisfied because happiness breeds laziness, and when you become lazy, you can’t win any more games or trophies.”
On Sunday, Casemiro headed in an unbelievable free kick from Luke Shaw to give Manchester United the lead. The offside call was referred to the video assistant referee (VAR), but referee David Coote’s initial call was maintained.
In the 39th minute, Rashford made it 2-0 for Ten Hag’s team. The England international’s goal was initially ruled an own goal by Sven Botman, but that judgment has subsequently been reversed. Rashford scored his first goal in a major final.
Ferguson was famous for giving his stars the “hairdryer treatment” whenever they started slacking off. Former Manchester United coach Mick Clegg revealed to The Athletic last year that Ferguson wanted to beat Brazilian star Anderson with a stick.
“I used to have a stick and I said to Alex Ferguson very early on, if he keeps going, I’m going to beat him with my bleeding stick,” Clegg recounted.
“Fergie couldn’t believe his eyes. ‘Don’t even think about it. He was really expensive for me. You can’t possibly be hitting one of my players, can you?’ Fergie then came to find me six weeks later. ‘Where is that bloody stick?’ he demanded. ‘Give me that stick, please. “I want to punch him.”
Ten Hag wants his squad to build on their achievement in the Carabao Cup. “We are not only hoping, but knowing that it is worth investing, knowing that it is worth suffering and sacrificing, and knowing that you have to give your best every day to rejoice,” he continued.
“It’s all about that, it’s about glory and honor, and if you want to prove something, if you want to win something, you have to do it because no one is bringing anything in elite football.”