Erik ten Hag sends message to Manchester United squad players over playing time

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Erik ten Hag has sent a message to the players who might not make the starting line up vs Southampton on Saturday.

Erik ten Hag has warned the fringe players in Manchester United’s squad must be ready to contribute when called upon.

United play Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon and Ten Hag is expected to make minimal changes to the line up that started against Liverpool on Monday, which included Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez at centre-back.

However, new signing Casemiro was officially unveiled before that game and he is expected to start at St. Mary’s Stadium, while Cristiano Ronaldo could return to the starting XI after Marcus Rashford played down the middle against Liverpool.

Rashford was moved to the left-wing in the second half against Liverpool and Antony Martial was substituted on. Martial made an immediate impact in the match and he expertly combined with Rashford to fashion the chance for the match-winning goal.

Although Martial is unavailable to play Southampton due to injury, his strong performance versus Liverpool highlighted the importance of substitutions. Ten Hag was asked about the importance of the squad on Friday and his answer was clear.

What you said [the whole squad being important] is totally correct,” Ten Hag told United’s in-house media.

“If you are on for 45 minutes or for five minutes you have to contribute. We are not [just] a team, we have to act as a squad so we need everyone. We have a lot of games to cover and in games the subs have to be ready at any moment.”

Premier League clubs can make five substitutions this season and Ten Hag has the personnel to take advantage of that.

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