Ten Hag handling fresh injury concerns

Tuesday 27 February 2024 18:00

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has revealed to club media that he is dealing with more injury concerns ahead of the Nottingham Forest game, but insists he has the squad to cope with any additional absences.

In an exclusive MUTV interview at Carrington, the manager provided a full update on his plans, having earlier confirmed at his press conference that Casemiro is fit and available, despite a head knock on Saturday against Fulham.

The Emirates FA Cup represents United's only realistic chance of silverware this term, and the fifth-round tie at The City Ground must be decided on the night (19:45 GMT kick-off).

Ten Hag's team news for Forest tie


The boss provides an update on Casemiro after his head injury at the weekend.

Harry Maguire is now unavailable for the Forest clash, joining Rasmus Hojlund and Luke Shaw as recent additions to the list of sidelined players.

The England centre-back returned from a groin problem in January and, of course, scored our goal in the 2-1 defeat to Fulham on Saturday. However, he will need to be replaced at the heart of the defence on Wednesday.

His partner at the weekend, Raphael Varane, is also a doubt, which could leave Jonny Evans, Willy Kambwala and Victor Lindelof, who played at left-back against the Cottagers, as our options for central defence.

Bruno Fernandes, who rarely misses a game, also has a question mark over his fitness. The captain appeared to suffer a knock late on against Fulham but fought to stay on the pitch until the final whistle.

"We have some question marks in our squad," Erik told club media. "Harry Maguire will not be available. Bruno is doubtful. Also Rapha Varane is doubtful. We have to watch and see what we will have and then pick a team, with the aim of course [of winning]. It's an FA Cup game, so it's about win or lose. Black or white. We have to win and that should be our approach.

"We have to show  [character]. I know we can be at our best in the moment, where we are in such a moment in adversity, and we are staying together. I know the fans, we will be strong together. And we will go into that fight to win the game."

The manager is remaining defiant in the face of any potential setbacks, as he insists he has the players to do the job and step up to the plate.

"So when we were in the last couple of games, you have a bench and that is always, for a manager, it's tough to disappoint players," he added. "Because there are players that can be starting XI players. In the moment there are setbacks like injuries or loss of form, you need such players.

"Also, for them, they can win their positions back."

Part one: Press conference v Forest Video

Part one: Press conference v Forest

Press conference part one | Erik answers questions on Casemiro, the Fulham result, our FA Cup ambitions and more...

The manager added: "We want them to be available to bring a performance and to help the team, to contribute. It's only about winning.

"I know the characters you mentioned [Sofyan Amrabat and Scott McTominay] but also there are others, to help the team to win the games for us."

Lisandro Martinez, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Tyrell Malacia, Mason Mount and Anthony Martial are also all on the sidelines.

However, Casemiro's availability is a boost, with the influential Brazil midfielder set to bring his experience to what promises to be a hostile atmosphere by the banks of the River Trent.