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“Very good…” Erik ten Hag hints at three Man United starters vs Nottingham Forest



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Erik ten Hag has outlined the reasons why the midfield is key for Manchester United ahead of their Premier League clash against Nottingham Forest.

The United manager is keen to get another three points at the end of the year following the club’s 3-2 comeback win against Aston Villa.

Much has been made of the Dutch manager’s second season in charge at Old Trafford, and complaints have been shared over the identity of his team.

Ten Hag has reiterated that he wants to dominate transitional play with a team suited to that style. However, the manager added that he wants to mix that with a controlled approach which has been evident in recent fixtures.

“The qualities of our players is suitable for it, so we have to use it,” Ten Hag told Sky Sports when asked about the transitional style. “Overloads, high ball regains, high pressing. You can see how good it can be. When our squad is at its best, we can compete with the best.

“My philosophy is that I want to play from the back, and if everyone is on board, you will see, we will do it. When we have the team ready, we will do it. You see already the direction in the last couple of games where we have had higher possession numbers.”

In order to make this work, you need a midfield three with the ability to ‘serve’ their forward line by receiving and moving the play.

“We have players like Bruno [Fernandes] who can receive and pass,” added Ten Hag. “We have Christian Eriksen and Kobbie Mainoo, who are very good at serving and then, with the speed of our players, we can play very direct, arriving very quickly into the box of the opponent.”

Ahead of an away clash against Nottingham Forest, the Reds will be feeling confident that they will be able to implement these ideas.

Ten Hag stating his approach ahead of the game, and highlighting the roles of those midfielders suggests that he will keep that same midfield three for the Forest game.