Kobbie Mainoo

Ten Hag provides context on Mainoo substitution

Saturday 30 December 2023 20:33

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has explained why he took young midfielder Kobbie Mainoo off at half-time in the 2-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest.

Erik was asked the question in his post-match press conference, following the loss at The City Ground, where all three goals were scored after the interval.

Mainoo was replaced by Scott McTominay for the second half and Ten Hag provided further context about the substitution while speaking to journalists.
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“He played the third game in a row, in this week, that’s tough where he’s coming from,” Erik said about 18-year-old Kobbie.

“I thought the energy was a little bit lower than in the other two games this week, therefore we brought some new energy in.”
Mainoo played the entirety of the defeat at West Ham seven days ago and contested 81 minutes in the comeback victory over Aston Villa on Tuesday night. 

The midfielder's inclusion in the XI for the trip to Forest meant he started three games in the space of a week for the first time in his senior career, just over a month after he was first named in our Premier League line-up, away to Everton.

Ten Hag was pleased with the vitality Scott McTominay was able to add to the team after his introduction, at the end of a busy week, even if the half did not pan out as intended following our no.39’s introduction.

“I don’t regret [the substitution]. I thought Scott, he brought energy, I think second half was much better [from] our side," the boss added.

Report: Nottingham Forest 2 United 1


The Reds end 2023 on a low, despite Marcus Rashford finding the net.

“I think the first goal, when you analyse it good, it went down the sides. Nothing to do with the central midfielder there.

“The second goal was a counter-attack, where I think it was a miscommunication, we had enough players. 

“The second part of it [Gibbs-White’s finish], in the first half, there were already some moments where Gibbs-White ran away, it was good play, but we should have tracked that.”