Erik explains Sabitzer's withdrawal from line-up

Sunday 16 April 2023 21:36

Erik ten Hag revealed that Marcel Sabitzer suffered an injury in the warm-up before Manchester United’s 2-0 Premier League victory over Nottingham Forest.

Antony and Diogo Dalot scored the decisive goals to ensure we took all three points from our trip to the City Ground.

Sabitzer had been named in our starting line-up to face Steve Cooper’s side, but his withdrawal from the XI due to injury was confirmed just moments before kick-off, with Christian Eriksen called into midfield in his place.

Ten Hag pleased with 'solid' performance Video

Ten Hag pleased with 'solid' performance

Erik was a happy man after our impressive win, and reserved special praise for Eriksen and Fernandes...

The Austrian’s setback follows the injuries sustained by Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez in midweek, while Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho are among others who are out of action at the moment through injury.

But Erik remains hopeful that the on-loan Bayern Munich midfielder will soon be back in contention for the Reds’ crucial end-of-season run-in.

“He had a problem in the warm up,” the boss told MUTV. “We didn’t take the risk. We already had some injuries, so we have to find out tomorrow. Hopefully, it’s not a big injury.

“We chose not to go into the game with the risk.”

Sabitzer couldn't continue after the warm-up at the City Ground.

The late news of Eriksen’s switch into the starting line-up had no adverse effect on the Reds’ display in Nottinghamshire, though, and Erik was unsurprised by the way Eriksen stepped in at the last minute, having impressed off the bench in our last two outings.

He told Sky Sports: “You see when Christian Eriksen is coming in, it’s definitely not a disadvantage. I think he played brilliantly with Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes.

Eriksen: Casemiro and Bruno make it easy Video

Eriksen: Casemiro and Bruno make it easy

Christian reacts to replacing Marcel Sabitzer at the last minute before our impressive win over Forest...

Later speaking in his post-match press conference, he added: “He [Eriksen] wouldn't have had a start if Marcel Sabitzer hadn't dropped out, but also, when Marcel is dropping out, we are still really happy with his [Eriksen’s] performances from him in the last games.

“When you bring on Christian, it helps the team and I think that showed today.''

With the second leg of our Europa League quarter-final and an FA Cup semi-final now on the horizon in the next seven days, Erik will be hoping he can welcome back the likes of Sabitzer, and others who remain sidelined currently, into contention as soon as possible.