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Lineker and Shearer hit back at criticism of interview with Ten Hag

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Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer hit back criticism of their BBC FA Cup interview with Man United boss Erik ten Hag – after he called for them to be ‘more calm’ after tense questioningGary Lineker and Alan Shearer questioned Erik ten Hag on his future on SaturdayThey believe they didn’t overstep the mark despite criticism of their questioning Kane first, Saka second… which player in Gareth Southgate’s squad has the third most goals for England? Listen to the It’s All Kicking Off! PodcastBy Sam Brookes Published: 11:59 BST, 27 May 2024 | Updated: 12:25 BST, 27 May 2024 Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer have defended themselves after receiving criticism for their interview with Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag following Saturday’s FA Cup final.United defied the odds to beat Manchester City 2-1 at Wembley, potentially saving Ten Hag’s job after it was reported on Friday that he was set to be sacked after the match.Ten Hag’s future was the main topic of discussion in the build-up to Saturday’s game, with Shearer hinting that the Dutchman could have few complaints if he was fired after guiding United to their worst-ever Premier League finish. This led to a tense post-match interview on Saturday, with Lineker and Shearer grilling Ten Hag on his future and his team’s performances this season, but the former England strikers believe they did not overstep the mark with their questioning. ‘People took a bit of umbrage to our questioning and your answer to Erik ten Hag,’ Lineker said to Shearer on The Rest is Football podcast.  Gary Lineker quizzed Erik Ten Hag on his future in the immediate aftermath of Man United’s FA Cup triumph Alan Shearer also criticised United’s performances this season, leaving Ten Hag furious Lineker and Shearer have defended themselves following criticism, insisting they did not overstep the mark ‘He came over and he didn’t seem very happy right from the start. I think he also had a pop at Roy Keane, so he obviously had something in his mind when he came over.’I asked the question, “Do you think you’ve been unfairly treated by pundits, and even us?” Obviously, it’s our job to be critical on occasion, we have to say what we think. And then he replied saying “definitely”, and then you challenged him didn’t you?’Shearer responded: ‘Yeah. He’s entitled to have a pop back because he’s been criticised at times and I think rightly so, because his team have been miles off it. They’ve been poor. ‘They’ve had a disastrous season in terms of the league. I don’t think any Man Utd fan would argue that. To finish eighth, to finish with the number of goals they’ve conceded, shots against, it’s embarrassing.’So for all of those things we’ve had to criticise them this season. If we didn’t we wouldn’t be doing our job. But he’s entitled to have the hump with people who he feels are being unfair, but I felt I was well within my rights [to say what I said].’Ten Hag refused to back down under scrutiny from Lineker and Shearer, telling them that they needed to be ‘more calm’ when criticising his players.’You are very good here in England to push players and managers very high, and then you hammer them when they have one or two bad performances,’ he said. ‘I think you should be more calm.’ Ten Hag could still be sacked despite leading United to their second trophy in as many seasons Part-owners INEOS – headed by Sir Jim Ratcliffe (left) are expected to make a decision on Ten Hag’s future this weekThe interview concluded with Lineker asking Ten Hag whether he had managed his final game at United, which appeared to cause further irritation, before Lineker added with a smile: ‘We hope to see you next season!’The answer to Lineker’s question remains unclear, with United’s hierarchy currently conducting an end-of-season review before making a decision over whether to stick with Ten Hag.Sir Jim Ratcliffe ignored a reporter’s question when asked if he was going to sack Ten Hag as he left Wembley on Saturday. It has been reported that Ten Hag still has the backing of a number of key figures at the club, with part-owners INEOS aware that sacking him would be an unpopular move among the fanbase after he delivered a second trophy in as many seasons at Wembley. 

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