Erik ten Hag has been called 'desperate' for his defence of Wout Weghorst following a difficult start to life as Manchester United's leading striker.
Weghorst is yet to score his first Premier League goal for the club and had little impact as Eddie Howe's Newcastle leapfrogged the Red Devils with a one-sided 2-0 triumph.
Former Sky Sports presenter Richards Keys has since taken aim at the manager for his support of the misfiring striker – with Ten Hag reportedly keen on a permanent deal for the Dutchman.
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Keys wrote in his blog: "Ten Hag justified his plans to sign him permanently by telling us that last week – and went on to add that Workhorse 'creates space for players'. I'll tell you what – he'd create more space if he wasn't on the pitch.
"The bottom line is that he's a bang ordinary centre-forward who doesn't score goals and isn't good enough to play for United. Ten Hag sounds like a desperate man trying to justify a mistake every time he talks about him.
"And when is ten Hag going to accept that his team don’t lack 'passion, desire, hunger and attitude' every time they get beaten? Or that 'they didn't stick to the game plan'.
Man Utd fans, do you agree with Richard Keys? Tell us in the comments section below.
United, who won the Carabao Cup back in February, are into the semi-finals of the FA Cup and quarter-finals of the Europa League as they look for an unusual treble.
However, they have now failed to win in three Premier League fixtures including a draw at Southampton, which followed their 7-0 demolition at the hands of arch rivals Liverpool.
With securing a return to Champions League football the target, United sit a point ahead of Tottenham, having played one game fewer, with 11 fixtures still to go.
Ten Hag said after their defeat at St James' Park: "They were more determined, more aggression and more desire, in many situations on the pitch and then you can’t win games.
"I was surprised that we couldn't match the determination and the passion of the opponent. And I think you know before when you travel to St James' Park and Newcastle what will be going on, especially after we won the cup.
"So if you want to win big games you have to be mature and I didn't see that today."
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