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Ten Hag responds to Rooney’s claims about injured Man United stars to passionately defend players

Erik ten Hag has hit back at Wayne Rooney’s claims that some of Manchester United’s injured stars are fit enough to play.

The former Manchester United striker made a stunning statement following Sunday’s 1-0 home defeat to Arsenal.

Rooney watched Sunday's clash as a pundit for Sky Sports alongside former captain Roy Keane.

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Rooney watched Sunday’s clash as a pundit for Sky Sports alongside former captain Roy Keane.Credit: Getty

Ten Hag’s team has been decimated by injuries, with Casemiro occupying a central defensive role in the absence of three centre-backs.

Captain Bruno Fernandes and striker Marcus Rashford were also among those absent from Sunday’s clash, leading Rooney to question whether members of the squad were suffering from injuries deemed serious enough to miss the match.

The 38-year-old suggested players were holding back to avoid taking the blame for United’s torrid run of form.

“When we look at the injuries they’ve had, some of these players can play at 100 percent,” Rooney told Sky Sports.

“It’s easy, you’ve got the European Championships coming up, you’ve got the FA Cup final coming up – because they’ve got a bit of stick now. It’s easy for the players to stay a bit in out of that and then come back towards the final and prepare for the European Championships.

“I’ve seen it myself over the years, so I just think the injured players aren’t taking any credit at the moment and the manager is going to take all the stick for that.”

In response to Rooney’s claims, Ten Hag came to the defense of their injured stars and lifted the lid on their efforts to make themselves available to face Arsenal.

“You have to see here at Carrington, the players are desperate to play,” Ten Hag said in his press conference ahead of Wednesday’s clash at home to Newcastle, live on talkSPORT.

Ten Hag defended his injured stars after listening to Rooney's comments

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Ten Hag defended his injured stars after listening to Rooney’s commentsCredit: Getty
Ten Hag revealed Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford were desperate to play against the Gunners

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Ten Hag revealed Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford were desperate to play against the GunnersCredit: Getty
Martinez has also been pushing for a return to the first team after an injury-plagued campaign.

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Martinez has also been pushing for a return to the first team after an injury-plagued campaign.Credit: Getty

“If I see Licha (Lisandro) Martinez, if I see Bruno who did a fitness test on Sunday to play.

“Rashford did everything he could. He tried to practice last week, but he couldn’t do it.

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“So players are desperate to play and want to be in good shape. Victor Lidelof and Rafa Varane are also training to make themselves available for the final. So they do what they can. »

The Dutchman told reporters the importance of remaining calm in the face of a growing injury list and the club’s poor results, sparking speculation over his long-term future as manager.

“I can’t feel that, I can’t express it because it would reduce the fighting spirit in my team,” he added. “We faced a lot of problems but I am always positive. I do it with the available players, we are the best team, we motivate them.

“The morale every time is very good. You saw an example of that on Sunday. I will inspire the team and continue to fight.”

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