Erik ten Hag reviews the Sheffield United game
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has hinted at partnering Rasmus Hojlund with a new name to solve his side’s attacking frustrations. Hojlund is a sure starter in Tuesday’s Champions League clash against FC Copenhagen, but Marcus Rashford’s position could be in jeopardy amid an eight-match goal drought.
Rashford has scored just once this season, failing to build on his career-best 2022/23 campaign, in which he netted 30 times.
His struggles have contributed to United’s toothless attack, winning by more than one goal just once in their opening 12 games.
Hojlund has scored three goals, all coming in Champions League defeats against Bayern Munich and Galatasaray.
On Monday, Ten Hag suggested that Hojlund’s backup striker, Anthony Martial, could actually feature alongside the 20-year-old Dane due to his ability to play on the wing.
“They can play together because Anthony Martial is also available to play from the side,” Ten Hag explained in his press conference.
However, Ten Hag backed Rashford to join Hojlund in adding more goals to United’s arsenal once his new-look attack starts to gel.
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He added: “First of all, we have to work our routines. He missed pre-season and the first four games, but I think from the moment he came in, he gave the team a lot.
“We’re building the routines, and that split moment will give him more time to make better decisions for more goals. But the goals against Galatasaray were two brilliant goals – as well as the one in Munich.
“I think he’s a player who will always be in scoring positions in our team. I’m sure, I’m confident [he’ll score goals] and Marcus Rashford the same.”
Despite Hojlund’s goalscoring efforts in Europe, United have lost both of their opening Group A games, suffering a shock home 3-2 defeat to Galatasaray last time out.
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Failure to beat Copenhagen would leave United on the brink of a humiliating group-stage exit, with away trips to Denmark and Turkey to follow before Bayern Munich visit Old Trafford.
And Ten Hag has warned his players that they must triumph on what promises to be an emotional night at Old Trafford, the first home affair since Sir Bobby Charlton passed away Saturday.
“We have to win every game. [But] if you lose the first two games, you definitely have to win,” Ten Hag stated.
He later said: “Definitely [we want to win for Sir Bobby]. First, we want to win as a tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton; we always want to do that in a certain way, and that’s what we’re aiming for.”
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