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Erik ten Hag disputes Wayne Rooney's Manchester United's injury claim

Erik ten Hag disputes Wayne Rooney's Man Utd injury claim
© Reuters
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag firmly denies a claim that some of the club's injured players are currently ducking matches.

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag has firmly denied a claim that some of the club's injured players are ducking matches in the latter stages of the 2023-24 campaign.

Following Sunday's 1-0 loss against Arsenal in the Premier League, ex-Red Devils captain Wayne Rooney said that some of the players at the club are making the most of their injury situation in order to sit out games to prepare for the FA Cup final and international commitments this summer.

However, Ten Hag has insisted that is not the case, with Lisandro Martinez, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane among those bidding to return.

Martinez is set to return for a calf problem in Wednesday's Premier League clash against Newcastle United, while Fernandes and Rashford could also be available for the clash with the Magpies.

Ten Hag has said that "the players are desperate to play", with the Red Devils set to have their squad boosted for their final three matches of the campaign.

Manchester United's Lisandro Martinez on August 19, 2023© Reuters

Ten Hag disputes controversial Rooney claim

"You have to see here at Carrington. The players are desperate to play," Ten Hag told reporters.

"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."

Tyrell Malacia, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Anthony Martial and Mason Mount are also currently on the sidelines, but Willy Kambwala made his return from injury as a second-half substitute in the one-goal home defeat to Arsenal on Sunday afternoon.

Ten Hag also insisted that he will not be saying goodbye to the Man United fans against Newcastle, with the Dutchman expecting to remain in charge of the Red Devils amid the widespread speculation surrounding his future.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag applauds fans after the match on February 24, 2024© Reuters

Ten Hag not planning Old Trafford farewell

"Yeah, we will do [a lap of honour]," Ten Hag said. "Yes, of course (we will show our appreciation to the fans). In good times, in bad times we are together, and the fans are showing that we are together, so, yeah, a lap of honour we will do.

"Goodbye for me?! It's not how I feel it and how I see it. That's not the way I go to start that lap of honour for the fans, no.

"In the stadium, away and home, they are always backing the team, backing me, and also when I'm in the streets many, many come to me.

"Maybe it's just polite but I don't feel it like this. I never almost get a negative reaction because the fans understand where we are. The fans understand that this club is in a transition and the huge problems we have had to face, especially in positions, in key areas."

Man United are currently eighth in the Premier League table, but they would qualify for next season's Europa League by beating Manchester City in the FA Cup final on May 25.

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag on May 6, 2024
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