After facing immense heat, Erik Ten Hag comments on his decision of taking off Kobbie Mainoo and Rasmus Hojlund

After facing immense heat, Erik Ten Hag comments on his decision of taking off Kobbie Mainoo and Rasmus Hojlund

Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag explained his reason for replacing Kobbie Mainoo and Rasmus Hojlund in the second half when playing against Burnley. The two players made way for Scott McTominay and Amad Diallo, 65 minutes on the clock. 

The substitution then led to the visitors levelling the scoreline, taking advantage of one point in a relegation-threatening period. Before Burnley even scored the leveller, the fans at Old Trafford were booing Ten Hag’s decision. 

Erik Ten Hag comments on protecting his players

Most of the fans were not supporting the idea of those players coming off. After the match, Ten Hag said that it was purely for strategic reasons that he made sthose decisions.

“What the crowd doesn’t understand is it’s a 19-year-old boy [Mainoo] in his first Premier League season,” said Ten Hag via the club’s official website. “It was a third game in a week and we have to manage the game load. We don’t want him to be injured. Last year, he had two bad injuries. You can see he gets tired. I want to protect him.

“Of course, by bringing Scott on, the game was really open, really intense with one-on-ones all over the pitch. Kobbie got tired and Scott had fresh legs and is very good, making movements and attacks down the middle.”

Ten Hag also said that rotating the squad during the match helped the team to get a fresh addition. The former Ajax manager felt that his decision was right for the team despite the game’s result.

“I have to manage the team and I have to, of course, be winning games,” he added. “That’s first of all and see what the game needs. By that time, we needed some freshness, first of all. But also tactical wise, bringing a player up who can keep the ball and who is creative in Amad.

“So they were subbed and it was the right decision. You see, after, we took some benefit from it, by bringing in the fresh legs and Scott in the position where it’s so open. He’s very good in such situations and he can make penetrations from there.”

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