Erik ten Hag explains the real reason for taking off Rasmus Hojlund against Sheffield United

Photo: George Wood/Getty Images

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has explained that his decision to substitute striker Rasmus Hojlund in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Sheffield United was based on fitness reasons.

The Dutch tactician is keen to manage the player’s game time to avoid him getting injured and also to give playing opportunities to other players.

“You see he [Hojlund] plays often. But the idea behind this, we have to manage his game minutes. But it is also internal competition to give others the opportunity,” he said.

“But definitely, we have to manage his game minutes. Coming up [there are] many games. We are now in October but until the end of the season [there are] so many games.

“We need everyone on board and we need everyone sharp and to keep him sharp. If I see the programme for the coming weeks we have to swap during games, between games, otherwise we don’t keep the energy and we don’t keep the focus in the team.

“Also we want to do something with subs to bring a new energy in the team and also from a tactical approach, you want to do something.”