Ten Hag: Casemiro and Scott are both important for us

Wednesday 05 October 2022 12:34

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag explained that Scott McTominay has earned his recent minutes on the pitch for the Reds with good performances.

Before Sunday’s derby defeat, the Scotland international had started in each of the five wins from our previous six games, only missing the defeat to Real Sociedad in our Europa League opener. 

His success in a deeper midfield role this season has potentially limited the minutes of new signing Casemiro since his summer arrival, with Ten Hag saying that the Brazilian’s lack of starts in a United shirt so far (one) isn’t down to anything the South American has done.

Ten Hag reveals team news


The boss provides more detail on the availability of centre-backs Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire.

“I said already before, it had nothing to do with Casemiro, it was all to do with Scott because, when you look at Brentford, he wasn't in the team [and] we lose. Then [from] the day that Casemiro signed, we played six games and we won five,” Erik told reporters when asked about Casemiro’s playing time in his pre-Omonia press conference. 

“And, in five games, he [McTominay] played. In one game, he didn't, and that was against [Real] Sociedad [a 1-0 loss]. So, for me, that was logical [to play McTominay] because it's competition in the team. For me, it wasn't a choice [not to play him]. 

“He performed really well, he developed really well and it had nothing to do with Casemiro, but I'm sure Casemiro will play a really important role.”
Despite Casemiro having to be patient at present, Erik has no doubt that the five-times Champions League winner has an integral part to play in his United side in the future.

“We know all his background, we know all the titles he won. You see every day in training, he can contribute in this team, and he will be a really important player for this team,” the Dutchman continued.

“So, we will see what will happen but I'm convinced that will happen."
The competition for places in midfield, heightened by the having the pair as options, makes the manager's team selection for Thursday’s Europa League game at Omonia all the more intriguing.

Ten Hag says that he will pick the best side available to him, as we go in search of back-to-back wins in the competition.

"First of all, it doesn't make a difference - Europa League, Premier League. We have to win in all the leagues and all the cups. 

“So, tomorrow, we will play our best team and we have to construct the team because also we want a competitive culture in our team, in this club.”