Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane and Bruno Fernandes

Erik: Absentees desperate to return

Tuesday 14 May 2024 22:30

Erik ten Hag says his injured players are doing everything they possibly can to return to action before the end of the season.

United face Newcastle tomorrow (Wednesday), in the final home match of 2023/24, before the Premier League campaign draws to a close at Brighton this Sunday.

There is then the small matter of the Emirates FA Cup final on Saturday 25 May, when the Reds will face Manchester City at Wembley Stadium for the second consecutive year.

Ten Hag's squad has been affected by injuries all season long and the list of absentees has been particularly lengthy in recent weeks, with United having no recognised left-back since February.

Part two: Press conference v Newcastle Video

Part two: Press conference v Newcastle

Press conference part two | Erik discusses the return of Lisandro Martinez and team spirit before we face Newcastle...

He has also had to deal with a plague of problems at centre-back but did confirm on Tuesday that Lisandro Martinez should be available for the first time in six weeks when the Magpies come to town.

Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane are also working hard on their recoveries at Carrington, while Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford are close to comebacks and tried hard to be involved against Arsenal at the weekend.

“You have to see here at Carrington. The players are desperate to play,” Ten Hag told reporters on Tuesday.

“I have seen that Licha Martinez [wants to play]. Bruno did a fitness test on Sunday to play. Rashford did everything he could do. He trained, tried to train last week but he didn't make it.

“Players are desperate to play and they want to be in the right shape.

“You see also Victor Lindelof, Rapha Varane, they are training to make themselves available for the final. They do what they can do.”