Mary Earps will seek answers from Manchester United regarding the club's direction before making a decision on her future, saying she has felt like a "punching bag" this season.

Earps' contract with the Women's FA Cup winners is set to expire in June, and there have been few signs of progress concerning a new deal.

Last year, United rejected a world-record bid for Earps, who starred as England won Euro 2022 and finished as runners-up at the 2023 World Cup.

Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain and other clubs have been linked with Earps, and she is biding her time after enduring a difficult campaign in which her commitment to United was called into question.

"The honest reality is that conversations are still ongoing," Earps told Sky Sports on Tuesday. "I've been clear I don't want to make an emotional decision.

"The beginning of the season was really tough, I felt really upset about things that were being said about me and things that came out that weren't true.

"I've tried to be professional, keep my head down, work hard, get on with my job and that's been hard. I've been a punching bag at times.

"I know I've given my heart and soul for the whole season. It's a tough situation.

"I've asked the club for some confirmation on what they're trying to achieve and when I have those answers I'll be able to make a decision. It's up to the club."

Rasmus Hojlund's return to form presents a "luxury problem" for Manchester United ahead of this weekend's FA Cup final against Manchester City, says Erik ten Hag.

Hojlund came off the bench to score United's second goal as they rounded off their Premier League campaign with a 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday, having also netted in last week's 3-2 victory over Newcastle United.

He finished his debut Premier League season with 10 goals, becoming the youngest player to reach double figures in 2023-24 (21 years, 105 days old as of Sunday).

Hojlund has battled injury problems and dips in form throughout the campaign, and in his absence, Ten Hag has often opted to deploy Bruno Fernandes as a false nine.

The Portugal international started United's last two matches in that position, and Ten Hag says he has plenty to think about as he prepares to name his cup final lineup.

"It is not a dilemma, it is a luxury problem," Ten Hag said.

"I think both formations can be a success because, as you know, we can play with the set-up from the Etihad, where we were a threat with Bruno's movement in behind.

"With Rasmus Hojlund in behind and in form, it is absolutely something we have to consider. 

"Let's have a thought, but let's not say we only need 11 players. In a tough final, you need a bench as well."

Hojlund failed to score in his first 15 Premier League matches before ending his drought against Aston Villa on Boxing Day, though he did score five times in United's unsuccessful Champions League campaign before Christmas.

He has 16 goals across all competitions this term, which Ten Hag sees as a good effort when taking his fitness problems into account. 

"It could always be better, but don't forget he had three injuries this season," Ten Hag said.

"He came in with an injury and missed the start, then he got injured before winter, and then got another injury after winter. 

"Every time that has broken his rhythm. If you score 16 goals for a first season, it is okay, and remember it is also not over. We have the final too."

Andre Onana says he is willing to take criticism "bullets" after a poor Premier League campaign for Manchester United.

The Red Devils recorded their lowest-ever finish in eighth place, with the manager and players coming under scrutiny for some of their performances.

One of those singled out was Onana, who joined United from Inter at the start of the season, after an error-strewn start to his life at the club.

Asked how he deals with the criticism coming from fans, pundits, and former players, Onana said it does not bother him. 

"For me, I don't pay attention to it. I have come into this team to take bullets because we are under construction – at the moment, we are not the best," he told the Overlap.

"We have other teams who are doing better than us, and we have to be honest and recognise that. If things and when things are going wrong, don't go for the youngest player – I'm here to take it, Bruno [Fernandes], Casemiro and Harry [Maguire] are there, and we are used to it.

"When it's people who were sitting where I'm sitting, who won everything, sometimes it's bizarre – we are in the same boat. We try to follow your thing and what you did. For me, I don't mind, but other people may be affected. For me, to be honest, it's just a part of the game."

United conceded 84 goals in all competitions this season, their worst-ever tally in a single campaign.

Erik ten Hag’s side also missed out on a European place due to their league finish but have another opportunity to get one if they beat Manchester City in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

Onana is optimistic though as he views the season as a learning curve.

"I'm happy because we have good people around us, especially at this club, who helped me so much," he added.

"That's why I'm still smiling - because the first six months were difficult, but at the same time, it was a good moment to learn.

"After playing the final of the Champions League and the final of the Europa League, you think you are the best – life gives you an opportunity to learn and says, 'You are never too big'.

"You can have a good season, next year you have a bad season, but the year after an amazing season. The ups and downs and being here, you have to deal with them – especially being a goalkeeper."

Andre Onana says he is willing to take criticism "bullets" after a poor Premier League campaign for Manchester United.

The Red Devils recorded their lowest-ever finish in eighth place, with the manager and players coming under scrutiny for some of their performances.

One of those singled out was Onana, who joined United from Inter at the start of the season, after an error-strewn start to his life at the club.

Asked how he deals with the criticism coming from fans, pundits, and former players, Onana said it does not bother him. 

"For me, I don't pay attention to it. I have come into this team to take bullets because we are under construction – at the moment, we are not the best," he told the Overlap.

"We have other teams who are doing better than us, and we have to be honest and recognise that. If things and when things are going wrong, don't go for the youngest player – I'm here to take it, Bruno [Fernandes], Casemiro and Harry [Maguire] are there, and we are used to it.

"When it's people who were sitting where I'm sitting, who won everything, sometimes it's bizarre – we are in the same boat. We try to follow your thing and what you did. For me, I don't mind, but other people may be affected. For me, to be honest, it's just a part of the game."

United conceded 84 goals in all competitions this season, their worst-ever tally in a single campaign.

Erik ten Hag’s side also missed out on a European place due to their league finish but have another opportunity to get one if they beat Manchester City in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

Onana is optimistic though as he views the season as a learning curve.

"I'm happy because we have good people around us, especially at this club, who helped me so much," he added.

"That's why I'm still smiling - because the first six months were difficult, but at the same time, it was a good moment to learn.

"After playing the final of the Champions League and the final of the Europa League, you think you are the best – life gives you an opportunity to learn and says, 'You are never too big'.

"You can have a good season, next year you have a bad season, but the year after an amazing season. The ups and downs and being here, you have to deal with them – especially being a goalkeeper."

Roberto De Zerbi insisted he does not have another job lined up after overseeing his final game as Brighton and Hove Albion boss on Sunday.

One day after surprisingly announcing De Zerbi's departure, Brighton ended their Premier League campaign with a 2-0 home loss to Manchester United.

That meant they slipped below rivals Crystal Palace to finish 11th in the table, their first bottom-half placing since finishing 16th in 2020-21.

De Zerbi has been linked with several big clubs since leading Brighton to European qualification last season, with Bayern Munich, Milan and Napoli touted as possible landing spots for the former Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk coach.

However, De Zerbi says he has not reached an agreement with any other club, telling reporters: "There isn't any club – no-one offered me anything. At the moment, nothing.

"I hope to work in the Premier League again. I don't know where or when, but it was an honour to work in the Premier League."

Sunday's defeat was De Zerbi's 70th Premier League game in charge of Brighton, with his top-flight win percentage of 37 per cent (26/70) the highest of any boss in the Seagulls' history.

Battling a lengthy injury list for much of 2023-24, Brighton made a total of 143 changes to their starting lineup throughout the course of the campaign, with only Manchester City in 2019-20 (144) ever making more in a single Premier League season.

Asked by BBC Match of the Day if there was a particular reason for his exit, the Italian added: "We didn't find the agreement to move on. I want to keep my way. 

"I know very well what I want to do and I know I am a coach and I have to accept the policies of the club.

"They gave me an incredible chance. They gave me the possibility to know incredible people, to play and to work in the Premier League, to play in the Europa League. They gave me the opportunity to know this club, this city, these fans and that I cannot forget."

Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna and Nice coach Francesco Farioli have both been tipped as possible contenders to replace De Zerbi, with Brighton having a reputation for excellent succession planning under owner Tony Bloom.

Asked about the search for a replacement on Sunday, Bloom said: "We always try and have a plan. We have got a plan. We now need to execute that plan."

Erik ten Hag conceded Manchester United's season was "not good enough by far" after the Red Devils recorded their lowest Premier League finish in eighth place.

United concluded their campaign with a 2-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion, with second-half goals from Diogo Dalot and Rasmus Hojlund sealing the points at the American Express Stadium.

Nevertheless, Ten Hag's side finished three points behind sixth-placed Chelsea and will subsequently miss out on European football for the first time in 10 years, unless they beat Manchester City in next week's FA Cup final.

And the Dutchman, who insisted his players "will fight for the cup" at Wembley, pulled no punches in his assessment of United's season.

"It is not good enough by far," he told Match of the Day. "Although we had less than 60 points two years ago [58 points in 2021-22], eighth is the worst performance. We should have done better.

"We know the reasons behind it, but it is not the right moment to go into it. It’s not good enough."

On the win over Brighton, he added: "The first half was too static. We changed something at half-time, and after that we had more control. 

"We had a lot of problems defending Joao Pedro in the first half, but then we had more control, and we were better on the ball. In the end, the win is OK."

Manchester United will need to win the FA Cup to qualify for Europe after they finished eighth in the Premier League despite winning 2-0 at Brighton on the final day.

Diogo Dalot scored against the run of play and substitute Rasmus Hojlund added a late clincher to give United consecutive wins to end their top-flight campaign before they face rivals Manchester City at Wembley.

But the Red Devils had to better Newcastle's result on Sunday to finish seventh and Eddie Howe's men won an entertaining match 4-2 against Brentford.

Joao Pedro twice came close to scoring for Brighton, who had most of the better chances, but defeat in Roberto De Zerbi's final game left the hosts 11th in the table, pipped to a top-half finish by Crystal Palace.

Brighton were more threatening in the early stages and they should have been ahead when Carlos Baleba found Valentin Barco in a dangerous position in the box. The Argentine easily got past Aaron Wan-Bissaka as he drove towards goal, but sent his shot too close to Andre Onana, with the United keeper making a key save.

Adam Webster was posing a regular aerial threat, heading two chances wide and then seeing a more threatening goal-bound effort blocked by Lisandro Martinez, making his first start since early February for United.

The visitors' only big chance of the first half came from a swift counterattack as Bruno Fernandes found Scott McTominay in a promising position, but the Scotland midfielder could only blaze over after taking a heavy first touch.

At other end, Joao Pedro powered past Diogo Dalot in the United box, only to drag his shot wide when he seemed destined to score, leaving fans at the Amex Stadium wondering how the half had ended goalless.

There were similar feelings after the break when Casemiro somehow cleared off the line from Joao Pedro after the striker had been found by Jakub Moder and beaten Onana with his close-range attempt.

But it was United who made the decisive breakthrough 17 minutes from time, as Casemiro's long ball caught out the home defence and full-back Dalot, who had found himself in an advanced position, raced through to score with a powerful finish.

Hojlund made sure of the points after 88 minutes. The Brighton defence backed away from him as he made a purposeful run into the box after exchanging passes with Christian Eriksen and the Denmark forward then found the net with a crisp right-footed finish.

De Zerbi leaves Brighton with a defeat

This was the last match for De Zerbi as Brighton manager after his departure was confirmed in the lead up to the game earlier this week.

De Zerbi led Brighton to a brilliant sixth-place finish in his first season, and while his second campaign ultimately did not match those heights, narrowly missing out on a top-10 spot and securing a last-16 berth in the Europa League still represents a creditable outcome.

There will, however, be frustration that Brighton did not secure a winning send-off, with United's late goals coming somewhat out of the blue, with the hosts always looking the more likely team to strike first and racking up 17 total attempts, although only three were on target.

As well as saying goodbye to De Zerbi, there was also a huge reception given to Adam Lallana when he was substituted early in the second half. The midfielder was emotional as he left the field after spending four seasons at the Amex.

Brighton had won their last four Premier League games against United – but ultimately fell short of becoming the first team to beat the Red Devils in five consecutive league games since Norwich City achieved the feat between 1988 and 1990. 

United need cup glory after lowest Premier League finish

While wins over Newcastle and Brighton saw Man Utd finish the season reasonably strongly, eighth place still represents their lowest final position in the Premier League.

If they defeat Man City in the FA Cup final, United will play in the Europa League season, but failure to do so would see them miss out on continental football entirely.

Newcastle were three goals up in their game during the first half at a time when United were struggling to repel Brighton, which perhaps explained why Ten Hag felt comfortable taking Fernandes and Martinez off around the hour mark when the match was still level.

Raphael Varane also got a runout late on, making his last Premier League appearance for United, which was a positive sign ahead of the final.

As for Hojlund, his late goal meant he reached double figures in his first Premier League season, having also netted against Newcastle on Wednesday.

Casemiro has hit back at the "disrespectful" critics over comments made about his recent Manchester United performances.

The Red Devils have come under pressure for a poor run of form in recent weeks, with Casemiro one of the players singled out, in particular for his performance in the 4-0 defeat at Crystal Palace.

Casemiro enjoyed a successful first campaign with United, finishing third and lifting the EFL Cup, but the club are currently in danger of suffering their lowest-ever Premier League finish in eighth place.

"I was considered one of the best signings of the Premier League last season, and now I'm not worth anything anymore?" Casemiro told Sky Sports.

"The criticism is disrespectful. So, when it's lacking respect, then it's worrying, and I don't have to respect that either."

Casemiro was also recently left out of Dorival Junior’s Brazil squad for this year’s Copa America.

United finish their Premier League season away at Brighton on Sunday before facing Manchester City in the FA Cup final on May 25.

Casemiro insists "age is not an issue" and the midfielder is feeling optimistic about the future at Manchester United.

The Brazil international and his team-mates have endured a frustrating season at Old Trafford, with the club in danger of suffering their lowest Premier League finish in eighth place.

Casemiro enjoyed a successful first campaign with the Red Devils, who he helped to a third-place finish and victory in the Carabao Cup.

However, injuries have prevented the 32-year-old from building on that momentum this term, with critics suggesting his age is preventing him from coping with the physical demands of the English top flight.

But the former Real Madrid midfielder rubbished those suggestions, highlighting notable examples of players shining in their mid to late 30s.

"I feel very well, very well," he told Sky Sports. "I feel healthy, with energy and the same mentality I always had.

"I guess people end up talking about the age factor, but it's been proven. Recently, our friend Thiago Silva - at the age of 39, came here and showed that, yes, you can play. The previous Ballon d'Or winners were over 34.

"At Manchester City, there's Kevin De Bruyne. (Mo) Salah at Liverpool. I think age is not an issue, it is not a factor in this, but analysing one's game and knowing about everything that is happening around the game.

"These are people who analyse football well, who see what's happening, who know what's happening, and not analyse the age.

"But I'm well, I'm happy. As I usually say, Manchester United gave me what I wanted - this joy of being able to enjoy the game, enjoy the Premier League. So, I'm happy to be here."

United conclude their Premier League season away to Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday, before facing rivals Manchester City in the FA Cup final on May 25.

Casemiro believes the vast number of injuries have played a crucial factor in the Red Devils' struggles this term.

"It's been a season of a lot of sacrifices for all of us, with the injuries and players adapting," he added. "So, it's been very hard for us.

"The manager came to ask me [to play at centre-half], and I told him I'm always available. That's the way I am; trying to help, committing to the team and to the coaching staff. So, when he asked me, I didn’t even hesitate.

"I think we had over 60 or 70 injuries. I've never seen this in my life. 

"It is hard to think about winning a Premier League when you have so many injuries to important players, players that you think will be able to play throughout the season, and you can't count on them."

Erik ten Hag is not worried about Bruno Fernandes' fitness ahead of Manchester United's final game of the Premier League season.

Fernandes impressed in an attacking midfield role in United's 3-2 win over Newcastle on Wednesday.

The Portugal international was forced off through injury late on, yet Ten Hag is not overly concerned.

"Bruno didn't miss so much and he's fit," Ten Hag told United's media channels. 

"I would say that is one of my least concerns, if he can keep going. He's fresh and he's in very good form but the others you mentioned, it's important [to get game time].

"They missed some games. [Marcus] Rashford, of course. [Lisandro] Martinez missed, I would say, almost the whole season. So every minute that he can get, we have to give him."

Should United win, and Newcastle fail to beat Brentford, then the Red Devils will be guaranteed European football next season, even if they lose the FA Cup final when they face Manchester City at Wembley on May 25.

Ten Hag's future is uncertain, but Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi pointed to United's injury issues as a main factor in their frustrating campaign.

"They have suffered a lot of injuries, problems, but they are still a very good team," he said.

"Ten Hag's Ajax team has been one of the best in quality of play. For United, this season, it's been tough playing without a lot of important players."

Brighton are entrenched in mid-table after failing to match the same heights they managed last season.

However, two of their players - Pascal Gross and striker Denis Undav, who is on loan at Stuttgart - were on Thursday called up for Germany's Euro 2024 squad.

De Zerbi said: "I am happy for Undav. He is becoming a great player. Pascal is not a surprise - he deserves to play for the national team."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Brighton - James Milner

James Milner has appeared in the final game in 16 different Premier League campaigns – if he plays in this match, he’ll be the first player in the competition's history to do so in 17 different seasons.

Manchester United - Bruno Fernandes

Fernandes has created 113 chances in the Premier League this season, 14 more than any other player. He also created the most chances last season (119) and is the first player to do so in back-to-back seasons since Eden Hazard in 2013-14 (93) and 2014-15 (100).

MATCH PREDICTION: DRAW

In their first 19 Premier League matches this season, Brighton were the fifth-highest scorers in the Premier League (38 goals) and had a conversion rate of 13.3 per cent. In their last 18 games since the turn of the year, only Everton (15) have scored fewer goals than the Seagulls (17), with their conversion rate of 6.6 per cent the worst of any side in this time.

United have lost their final league game in two of the last five seasons (W3), as many times as they had in the previous 33 campaigns (W23 D8).

Brighton have lost their final game in four of their six Premier League campaigns, with the exceptions being a 2-1 win at Burnley (2019-20) and a 3-1 home win v West Ham (2021-22).

Brighton have won each of their last four Premier League games against United – the last side to beat the Red Devils in five consecutive league games was Norwich City between 1988 and 1990.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Brighton - 35.4%

Man Utd - 35.9%

Draw - 28.7%

Robin van Persie has landed his first head coach role after being appointed the new boss of Eredivisie team Heerenveen.

Van Persie has agreed a two-year contract that will start at the end of the 2023-24 season, with the Dutch club confirming the deal on Friday.

Heerenveen missed out on European qualification this season and can finish no higher than 10th when the top-flight campaign concludes this weekend.

The club said in their statement they were convinced by the ambition and motivational skills of Van Persie, who starred for Arsenal and Manchester United in his playing career, winning the Premier League Golden Boot with both clubs, and the league title at Old Trafford.

That was as well as earning 102 caps and scoring a record 50 goals for the Netherlands at international level.

Van Persie said: "The coaching profession is comprehensive and challenging, and I've practised it with great passion and pleasure.

"I would like to continue my development and the role of head coach fits in perfectly with that goal. I am therefore pleased with the opportunity that Heerenveen offers me.

"Heerenveen is a very nice club with a rich tradition and loyal supporters. 

"It is a fantastic challenge to contribute to the sporting ambitions and development of the club."

While this is the 40-year-old’s first senior coaching role, he has been working under Liverpool-bound Arne Slot as a youth coach with Feyenoord.

He succeeds Kees van Wonderen – who announced his impending departure in March ahead of the expiry of his contract – at Heerenveen.

The club will finish their league campaign away against Sparta Rotterdam on Sunday.

"Although Robin is at the start of his career as head coach, he immediately convinced us," said general manager Ferry de Haan. 

"He is ambitious, passionate and eager to learn. I think he knows how to enthuse and motivate a squad of players."

Van Persie retired in 2019 and had two spells with Feyenoord at either end of his career, as well as a period playing in Turkey for Fenerbahce.

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw is fighting against the odds to be passed fit for the crucial FA Cup final against rivals Manchester City.

Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag revealed the left-back’s injury has proven more complicated than first thought and added his chances of making the game are low, but has not definitively ruled out the England international.

He is more optimistic about Harry Maguire, though even the centre-back was only rated as having a “fair chance” of being passed fit to face Pep Guardiola’s men at Wembley on May 25.

Before that, United will finish their Premier League campaign with a match away to Brighton on Sunday.

Despite a desperately disappointing campaign, there are still two potential routes for United to make it into Europe for next season.

Ten Hag's side are eighth in the table, level on 57 points with seventh-placed Newcastle United, who visit Brentford on the final day.

If United beat FA Cup holders City, they will play in the Europa League next season.

Failure to do so would mean they must have finished seventh in the league to secure a spot in the Europa Conference League, so they will need to better Newcastle’s result on the final day.

Shaw has been restricted to playing in 15 games for United across all competitions this season. He was expected to return before the end of the campaign when he suffered a muscle problem in the away win over Luton Town in February.

Ten Hag was asked about Shaw and Maguire ahead of the last two games of United’s season, a fitness update which has added importance due to their likely inclusion, if fit, in England’s squad for Euro 2024 this summer.

"For England, I can't say, it's not up to me," Ten Hag said. "But for the cup final, we're working on it.

"Harry Maguire, it's a fair chance that he will be available. 

“Luke is more complicated, in this moment, let's say it's a low chance that he will make it. But there is still a very small, reduced chance."

As well as giving Maguire a chance of making the final, Ten Hag also confirmed fellow defenders Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof have returned to training in a boost ahead of the Man City clash.

Varane is leaving Man Utd at the end of the season, with a number of other players expected to follow him out the exit door, but Ten Hag wants his squad fully focused amid frenzied speculation over transfer activity.

"All the issues will only distract us,” he said.

“We know what we are building on, and we have to keep this process going.”

Shaw, 28, played in last season’s FA Cup final defeat to City and has also been a runner-up at the Euros, having scored in England’s eventual defeat on penalties to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.

Bruno Fernandes says he will stay at Manchester United if the club wants him to be part of their future.

As the transfer window draws closer, the United captain is reportedly attracting interest from several Saudi Pro League clubs and Bayern Munich.

Fernandes, who joined the Red Devils from Sporting CP in January 2020, has two years left on his current contract after signing an extension in 2022.

Speaking to Sky Sports after their 3-2 win over Newcastle United on Wednesday, Fernandes stated his commitment to the club.

"If they want me, I will stay," he said. "I will be here until... I said the club needs to want me.

"I feel that the club wants me to be a part of the future, so, as I said always, I don't want to be a player that the club doesn't want to have."

Fernandes has scored 15 goals in all competitions this season and got his 12th assist when he picked out Rasmus Hojlund for United’s third goal against Newcastle.

Erik ten Hag had already expressed his confidence that the Portugal international would stay at the club, and he reiterated that upon hearing about Fernandes’ post-match comments.

"Absolutely the club wants to keep Bruno. There's no question, I think," Ten Hag said.

"He gives always his best. He's an example, even with injuries he's playing. He loves football, but he wants to win.

"I'm very pleased with his performances across the season because for him, it's not easy when so many players are injured around him and every time, he has to carry the team."

Erik ten Hag is taking the positives from Manchester United's season, as he aims to win the FA Cup.

United have endured a difficult campaign, though they kept their European qualification hopes alive by beating Newcastle United 3-2 on Wednesday at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag took the microphone to speak to the fans after full-time, saying: "You are the best supporters in the world. Thanks for your support. 

"I promise you that those players will give everything to get the cup and bring it to Old Trafford."

United face rivals Manchester City at Wembley on May 25, and speaking to reporters, Ten Hag – whose future is uncertain – sees no reason not to take some positives from the campaign.

"I see the positives, I see that this team is developing, I know the reasons why we are not performing," Ten Hag said.

"No team will perform when the whole back four is not available, across the season.

"Even striker Rasmus Hojlund, three times injured, [Marcus] Rashford, also injured, so we have had our problems across the season and that has a negative impact on the results.

"You see players performing and you see players progressing like the youngsters and that is very positive, there is a high potential in this club.

"So, there are also many positives in this season, but I can't mention this. You know why. At the end of the day, we have to win trophies. And in the Premier League, and in the Champions League, we didn't perform what people expect from us."

United sit eighth on 57 points, level with Newcastle but three behind sixth-placed Chelsea. The Red Devils face Brighton in their final game of the season on Sunday.

Bruno Fernandes says Manchester United must "finish the season in the best way" following their 3-2 win over Newcastle United.

The United youngsters played starring roles, with Kobbie Mainoo, Amad Diallo and Rasmus Hojlund getting all three goals to close the gap to Newcastle in the table.

Anthony Gordon and Lewis Hall both netted for the Magpies, with the latter setting up a nervy finish with his stoppage-time effort, but their lack of clinical edge meant United earned all three points.

Erik ten Hag’s side avoided a third consecutive defeat, and what would have been a record-breaking 10th home loss of the season, and Fernandes insists they must find a way to finish positively. 

Speaking to Sky Sports, the United captain said: "Obviously the job isn’t finished yet. We still have one game in the Premier League, then the biggest game of the season, the FA Cup final.

"It has been a tough season. The table shows that, and we are all aware of that. The fans have been amazing and behind us all season. We all appreciate what they have been doing for us.

"We want to do better and do differently. They [fans] have been amazing for us, and we had to do something. We have been trying, but results don’t show that. We have been working hard and everyone has been giving their best. It is not enough, and we have to do more.

"We still have two games to go, and we have to finish in the best way.

"It doesn’t exist, a captain's performance, it is a team performance. I am no different from anyone just because I have the armband. I always try my best, and we always do the best we can for the club – nobody hides that we play for a big club, and we have to lift our standards every game."

Despite returning to winning ways, United have now conceded 58 Premier League goals this season, their most across a single campaign in the competition.

Ten Hag was keen to turn the focus away from their struggling defence and onto the attacking players instead.

"Fantastic. Great goals. But it was a team effort how we made the goals. But I'm always happy at young players who are progressing very good and scored some brilliant goals," he told BBC Sport.

"Newcastle have a lot of physical power, and you have to match that, but you also have to play football. We had found the really good balance in this.

"It's always nice to win any game. It's important to win the last game at Old Trafford this season. The fans deserve this because they've had difficult times and always stayed with us.

"We are here together. We wanted to pay the fans back."

 

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