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Erik ten Hag ignored Paul Scholes' advice

Jan 18, 2024Jan 18, 2024

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag refused to rotate his line-up greatly for Sunday's Premier League visit of Southampton after being urged to change by Paul Scholes

Erik ten Hag ignored advice from former Manchester United star Paul Scholes to rest players for this weekend's Premier League action.

United were held to a goalless draw by relegation-battling Southampton in Sunday's Premier League action. Casemiro's first-half red card conditioned the match and while the Red Devils felt they should have had a penalty in the first half, both sides were culpable of missing plenty of chances.

The result represented a setback in United's pursuit to strengthen their grip on third spot and ultimately a top four finish to secure Champions League football next season. It was the latest instalment of a packed fixture schedule for the club.

Ten Hag had already guided United to EFL Cup success this season – their first piece of silverware in six seasons – and the club are still competing on four fronts; they will feature in the FA Cup quarter finals next week against Fulham and remain in the Europa League.

United are well positioned to advanced through to the last eight of the European competition too having taken control of their Round of 16 tie against Spanish club Real Betis, winning 4-1 at Old Trafford on Thursday – three days ahead of Southampton 's visit.

Scholes, who was working during the match as a pundit for BT Sport, analysed that as encouraging as United's performance in that match was – many players look visibly tired including left-back Luke Shaw and Casemiro, but both started against the Saints with the Brazilian sent-off.

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Speaking after Thursday's win over Betis, Scholes said: "He [Ten Hag] likes players having rhythm, but with the schedule and the amount of games they’ve played, some of these players need a rest now.

"I thought Shaw looked like he needed a rest tonight, Casemiro looks like he needs a rest. They can give a few young players a taste of European football [next week] and hopefully that will stand them in good stead for the future."

Ten Hag has rotated regularly this campaign but now appears to have settled on a starting line-up in recent weeks without a great deal of rotation. This is likely to indicate his transfer plans and priorities ahead of the summer window opening.

United have two more matches remaining until they can take a breather with the international break; as they travel to Spain for the second leg of their clash against Betis on Thursday before hosting Fulham in the FA Cup three days later.

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