Erik ten Hag has criticized a busy Premier League schedule after Marcus Rashford went off injured during Manchester United’s victory over Everton.
The 25-year-old striker was forced off after 81 minutes at Old Trafford with an apparent thigh injury on his right leg.
Rashford limped around the perimeter of the pitch and headed straight down the tunnel after being substituted for Watt Wighurst.
“We have to wait, (he) doesn’t look right,” Ten Hag told full-time BT Sport. “Again it’s because of the schedule. You can’t play three games in six days. We have to protect our players.
“Everyone wants the best players on the pitch. Everyone wants to see great entertaining football like today but then you need your best players.”
United played Newcastle on Sunday and Brentford on Wednesday before Saturday’s victory over Everton at the start of the day.
“Some things you can’t avoid but that could have been avoided,” Ten Hag added. “Why did the Premier League give us the game late on Sunday night and give us the early Saturday game? I think it’s not right.
“Then you risk players not being able to recover that quickly, all the scientific research will give you that. Players need a certain period to recover. And it accumulates. So then you risk more.
“It’s part of the schedule that we find ourselves in this situation. Now we can just pray it doesn’t come down.”
“No coach at this point in the season would rotate so much. I know that’s why this is the toughest league, of all the competitions we’ve been in, you need a team to rotate to a certain point. But that could have been avoided, it’s not necessary to schedule timeline as we have it now.
“Then there are other factors that are more important than the sporting element, such as protecting the players. Today we had a very entertaining evening, but players can’t do that much when they’re not new. We create chances but missed chances are also part of it, which is the lack of freshness in the last moment.
“We have to protect the players, that’s the interest in total football. Everyone, the crowd wants to see great football, you need your best players on the pitch.”
United recorded a 2-0 win over Everton thanks to a goal in either half from Scott McTominay and Anthony Martial.
Martial gave United a two-goal lead 19 minutes before the remaining regular time, but Rashford remained on the field despite playing 90 minutes against Brentford and Newcastle.
Ten Hag has made it clear that he was already considering replacing Rashford but chose not to because he wanted to give England international minutes alongside Martial, who had recently returned from a thigh injury, and because Rashford had not been suffering or had shown any previous transfer concerns. infection.
“I have that consideration, fair question,” replied the United boss when asked about his decision not to replace Rashford with his side, who are leading 2-0. “But in that moment, you also want Anthony Martial, just to come back, you want to get him back into the routine, the teamwork.
“She’s developing the team, working on collaboration, and she wants to see them together to bring them together in a routine that will give us benefits for the games to come.
“When they’re together, we have two players who score goals, two clinical players who can finish matches. That’s what you need in the final phase of the season to be successful, and the other thing is that there was absolutely no indication, no complaints in the last days or in this match I was I’ll take him out.”
Rashford has scored 27 goals in 46 games in all competitions this season.
United are next in action on April 13 when they face Sevilla in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final.
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(Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images)
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