Newport County boss rues missed chance to beat ‘rattled’ Manchester United after impressive FA Cup performance

Newport County were brilliant against Man Utd with Erik ten Hag gifting Graham Coughlan a bottle of win post-match (Photo: Getty)

Newport County’s manager has admitted he thought his team would get the better of Manchester United after ‘rattling’ them during their FA Cup clash.

United beat the Welsh side 4-2 on Sunday to advance to the fifth-round of the cup, but despite the scoreline suggesting otherwise, the result was far from easy.

The visitors raced into a two-goal lead after just 13 minutes thanks to Bruno Fernandes and Kobbie Mainoo, and it seemed as if they were set to thrash the League Two club.

But Newport rallied, thanks to a stunning Bryn Morris strike before Will Evans equalised just after the break.

At that point it seemed that United were set to collapse – as they have done so many times this season – but thankfully for Erik ten Hag, Antony restored their lead before Rasmus Hojlund ensured the victory in injury time.

Post-match, Ten Hag and captain Fernandes were hardly satisfied with the Red Devils’ performance, with the former visibly furious that Newport had been allowed to score after ‘creating nothing’.

And Newport boss Graham Coughlan admits he thought that when they equalised United would continue to capitulate, saying ‘I thought we had them at two-all. I thought we had them rattled. Man Utd could easily have gone under.’

He later told the BBC: ‘The best team won, they were clinical when they got their chances. At 2-2 the ball comes off the post and it fell to Antony.

‘I did think at 2-2 we could possibly force a replay if we could weather the storm. Class saw them through.

‘A lesser team might have chucked the towel in but I spoke about character at half-time. The lads reacted really well in the second half.

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‘When you score two goals against Manchester United, that creates memories. That will live with our boys forever. I’ve challenged our lads to push on.

‘This week has been brilliant. It’s our first defeat in seven or eight. These lads will live with the memories but let’s go and make more memories and close that gap in League Two. We pushed them as hard as we could and I’m so proud.’

After the full-time, Coughlan, a United fan at heart, was also gifted a bottle of red wine by Ten Hag as is tradition

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