Eriksen: Five subs could make the difference
Christian Eriksen says the option of using up to five substitutes will be a big help to Manchester United in the busy weeks ahead.
The Reds' fixture schedule before the mid-season World Cup is a hectic one, with multiple games each week across the Premier League, Europa League and Carabao Cup.
But the Dane says both players and managers can benefit from the Premier League's new rule changes, which allow five substitutions.
“[The whole squad] is going to be very important,” explained Eriksen, “and I think this is a good year to have five substitutions – it will help the pressure on a lot of the players and also I think it will give the manager a few more options.
“The guys who have come on [in recent Premier League games] have done very well – they want to prove themselves. And also the guys that have been starting want to prove themselves.
“So it’s a good and a strong push that I think we need [from everyone] because we have a lot of games and there is a lot of quality in the team. So we all have to fight for our places.”
United's midfield has had a significant overhaul in the last few months, with Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba departing and Eriksen and fellow new signing Casemiro joining the club.
But Christian, who joined from Brentford, believes there is a complementary balance between the options available to Erik ten Hag.
“Everyone has different qualities and it’s up to the manager who he’s going to put down to play in which games and see what qualities will work,” he told club media.
“Take Casemiro coming in and showing how strong he is already. Being a winner. And Fred and Donny [van de Beek] have played for many years – it’s a decent midfield.”
Meanwhile, Scott McTominay partnered Eriksen in each of United's four consecutive Premier League wins prior to the Real Sociedad defeat, and our no.14 is impressed with the way their embryonic relationship is developing.
“Scott has done very well and I think you can see that from the games,“ he enthused. “I think in the first few ones we were looking for each other a bit and seeing where we are, but now I think we are starting to get a good connection and a good feeling of where you should be, and also because of the instructions of the manager as he has the positions he would like us to be in.
“So first of all we need to focus on our partnership and, at the same time, we need to focus on where the manager wants us to be. I think it’s gone well, but also when you win games it’s just easier to look back and the confidence builds up and you forget the small mistakes you make and remember the good things.
“There are a lot of things we can improve, but it’s a good road we’re on.”