Erik ten Hag defends Kobbie Mainoo substitution after criticism from Manchester United legend
Posted by  badge Boss on Dec 31, 2023 - 02:11AM
Kobbie Mainoo was taken off at half-time in Manchester United’s loss at Nottingham Forest (Picture: Getty Images)

has come in for criticism for substituting at half-time in ’s 2-1 defeat to , but he says he has no regrets over the tactical decision.

The match was goalless at the break after a tedious first half and Ten Hag chose to replace Mainoo with Scott McTominay.

Nicolas Dominguez opened the scoring for Forest, with Marcus Rashford equalising and then Morgan Gibbs-White scoring the winner for the home side shortly after.

Red Devils legend Peter Schmeichel has hit out at Ten Hag for taking off Mainoo when other players were ‘doing absolutely nothing’ while both Forest goals came from shots you would hope a defensive midfielder might stop at the source, but the Dutch manager does not agree.

Asked if he was forced into the change through injury, Ten Hag said: ‘No, but he played a third game in a row in this week and that’s tough, where he’s coming from.

‘I thought the energy was a little bit lower than the other two games this week, therefore we brought some new energy in. I don’t regret.

‘I thought Scott brought energy, I thought second half was much better our side. The first goal, when you analyse it good, we were downsized. Nothing to do with the central midfield there.

‘Second goal was a counter-attack where there was a miscommunication, we had players enough and the second part of it, in the first half there were some moments where Forest ran away. It’s a good play but we should have tracked that.’

Erik ten Hag had another tough day at the office on Saturday (Picture: Getty Images)

Former United goalkeeper Schmeichel told Premier League Productions: ‘He makes a substitution I think that has a really big effect on the game.

‘Yes, I said this before I can understand you want McTominay on, but not for the guy you take off.

‘The guy you take off Mainoo is such a good player and he played alright. He was controlling that part of the pitch very, very well.

‘There was no need to make that change when you have other players on the pitch that are doing absolutely nothing for you. I question the substitution and what that signals to the rest of the team.

‘Why do you want to make a change at half-time? Is that so you can make three breaks in the second half, you don’t have to make two? Is that it?

‘Or is to make an impact? If you want to make an impact you have to leave impact players on. That had a very big effect on the game.’

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