Erik expecting players to return against Spurs

Tuesday 09 January 2024 08:00

Erik ten Hag is expecting to have several absentees back for Tottenham Hotspur’s visit to Old Trafford on Sunday.

United were without a dozen first-teamers for Monday’s 2-0 victory over Wigan Athletic in the Emirates FA Cup, as Amad and Christian Eriksen added their names to the list of absentees due to illness, while Antony was injured.

The Reds have suffered from injury issues throughout the season, with Tyrell Malacia yet to appear in 2023/24 and Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez and Mason Mount all in the final stages of recovery from long-term problems.

Ten Hag is hoping his worries might ease, with Eriksen, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw all bidding to be involved as we look to close the gap on Ange Postecoglou’s side to six points ahead of a two-week break in our Premier League schedule.

Mason Mount, however, requires more time according to the Dutchman.

Ten Hag: The job is done Video

Ten Hag: The job is done

Erik ten Hag is pleased to progress in the Emirates FA Cup, even if he thinks the Reds should have scored more...

“Yeah. I think there will be some players, I think it’s hopeful that they can be back at the weekend,” Ten Hag told reporters.

“So I’m talking about Christian Eriksen, potentially Luke Shaw.

“Harry maybe, Mason I think he needs some days or a week more.”

It was a particularly youthful bench for the Reds at the DW Stadium, with teenage Academy prospects Willy Kambwala and Omari Forson among those to appear in the closing stages, the latter for his senior debut.

Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo have stepped up in the absence of senior players, while Hannibal and Facundo Pellistri have also significantly added to their first-team minutes this term.

When asked if the availability of these promising homegrown players meant he was happy to wait for more injured players to return, rather than dip into the January market, Ten Hag was non-committal.

“We consider everything, so what is the best interests of the player and what is the best interest of us, for our team and for Manchester United,” Erik added. “We will see how it progresses during the window.”

United have three fixtures to play before the deadline, against Spurs, Newport or Eastleigh - in the FA Cup fourth round - and Wolverhampton Wanderers.