Man Utd duo Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire delivered the perfect response to Roy Keane’s suggestion that they “shouldn’t be at the club” if they can’t deal with Nottingham Forest.
The Red Devils were hit by a huge double defensive blow last week when the club confirmed that Lisandro Martinez would miss the rest of the season and that Raphael Varane would be missing for the next few weeks,
And that saw Maguire and Lindelof – who have often been out of the starting XI – in Erik ten Hag’s side from the start in United’s 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest on Sunday.
A clean sheet was the perfect way to answer back to their critics, including Keane, with the Man Utd legend claiming before the match that they needed to leave the club if they couldn’t perform against Nottingham Forest.
“I think they always are [playing for their futures],” Keane told Sky Sports. “These lads are not first choice but the reason they’re at Man United is when you get your opportunity you take it. These are experienced international footballers so coming in against a Forest team which are struggling, you’d expect them to perform.
“Obviously they need the players in front of them to give them some sort of protection, but listen, Maguire and Lindelof, you’re playing for Man United for a reason, we expect you to deal with a Forest attack or else you shouldn’t be at the club.”
Match of the Day 2 pundit Nedum Onuoha was surprised how comfortable Man Utd duo Maguire and Lindelof looked and the former Man City defender thinks it “sends an alarm” to Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper.
On Forest’s attack, Onuoha said: “It certainly is (a muddle). I think what makes it worse is, whatever combination we see them go for doesn’t really work. It seems like Brennn Johnson’s done well, Awoniyi was doing well for a while before he got injured but, again, they didn’t look that dangerous today.
“When you see the fact that those two are up there and Gibbs-White, the creativity behind them, what do they create? The answer is very little and that sends an alarm because this Manchester United defence today is one most Man United fans are uncomfortable with.
“Yet, overall, they didn’t feel that much pressure, especially at the City Ground, which should be a tough place to get points.
“It’s a shame for them because their home form is something that was giving them hope, not that long ago.”