Erik Ten Hag opens up about Bruno Fernandes’ new role and Anthony Martial’s fitness

Erik Ten Hag has changed the outlook of Manchester United in recent games. What once seemed like a top 6 finish, has now turned into a title challenge. He has implemented new player positions and changes, that have helped him succeed. 

Ten Hag’s Changes:

Erik Ten Hag has been using Bruno Fernandes on the right-hand side of his attack as opposed to his traditional number 10 position. Ten Hag told reporters when asked why he took to fielding Fernandes in an unnatural position: “The idea with Bruno on the right wing and especially in defending, we defended as usual but in possession, he had a role to come in between the lines to bring an extra player there and bring the opponent problems and create hesitation and confusion and I thought he played that role brilliantly.” 

“The rest of the team adapted well to the situation and we had really good breaks by finding the free man. Bruno was an important factor in that role and important in the pressing as well. I didn’t know he was man of the match but he was my man of the match, definitely.”

Ten Hag went on to say of his decision to include Anthony Martial in United’s starting XI despite the French forward nursing a knock that would lead to him being replaced at half-time: “I hoped to avoid him getting injured but he was complaining. That’s why he also didn’t train in the week and was a question mark [for the derby]. We decided, and he decided as well, to start. He begged to start. I knew the start would be so important in this game and he is really good at pressing and he is a really big element in our pressing. But I needed to re-evaluate at half-time as you saw he was not capable of going 100% and this is what you need. Also to avoid him getting injured so we took him off but it also had a negative impact on our game after half-time.”

United face Crystal Palace and then Arsenal at Emirates.

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