Ten Hag ‘has an idea’ when Martinez will return with Man Utd down to bare bones at the back

Jason Soutar
Erik ten Hag celebrate winning the Carabao Cup with Lisandro Martinez

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag says he ‘has an idea’ how long Lisandro Martinez will be out for but does not want to “cause speculation” by telling the media.

Martinez was carried off the pitch by his Argentina teammates Gonzalo Montiel and Marcos Acuna late on in Man Utd’s 2-2 draw at home to Sevilla in the Europa League on Thursday.

Fans and pundits immediately feared the worst with some automatically assuming the former Ajax defender had injured his Achilles.

Ten Hag could not say much so soon after the match but he did confirm that was not the case.

The Red Devils will hope to bounce back after the disappointing draw against Sevilla when they face relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Sunday.

Ten Hag will have to shake up his defence after Martinez and Raphael Varane were both substituted with injuries on Thursday.

On the mounting injuries, the Dutch manager said: “Sorry, no, it’s not even 24 hours so I don’t have a complete diagnosis so I can’t tell in this moment.

“I can’t say in this moment, when we have news we will give it straight to you,” he said when asked about Martinez.

“Let’s do the medical, a full assessment, complete diagnosis, it doesn’t change in this moment. I have an idea but I don’t cause speculation.

“We have to adapt in the squad, we have to use the squad, that is also what we did yesterday, you need a tactical approach to win the games, we have good players, suspension, we adapt to the squad.

“We have two sessions to go, so I don’t know now but it can be Scott and Luke will return to the squad. But not sure.”

Club captain Harry Maguire is expected to partner Victor Lindelof at Forest but Ten Hag is aware that the England defender is suspended for Man Utd’s FA Cup semi-final against Brighton later this month.

“We have to take that in mind as well, we know Harry’s suspended but he played very good against Everton,” he said.

“Yesterday he played very good and in the coming games it’s up to him but we have to take in mind he’s suspended for the game against Brighton.”

Asked if it will be Lindelof and Maguire in the centre of defence on Sunday, Ten Hag said: “Decent centre halves, they proved in the past and this season we have four or five very good centre-halves who can do the job.”

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