Nottingham Forest vs Manchester United: What did Erik ten Hag say about Sofyan Amrabat playing as a left-back?

Due to the massive number of injuries United are suffering, particularly at the back, Sofyan Amrabat had to play in the FA Cup fixture as a floating left-back.

Sofyan Amrabat joined Manchester United last summer; Credit: Twitter@ManUtd
By Karthik Raman | Feb 29, 2024 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Manchester United bounced back from the weekend disappointment with an important victory in the FA Cup. The Red Devils defeated Nottingham Forest with a late goal to win the fifth-round tie. It was Casemiro who got on the end of Bruno Fernandes’s whipped low free-kick to head home the only goal of the game just before the regulation 90 minutes. The win meant United would face Liverpool in the quarter-finals of the competition.

After the dramatic late win over Nottingham Forest, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag felt they scored at the “right moment.” It is to be noted that United lost to Fulham in the Premier League at the weekend by a late injury time strike. “It’s the best time to score at the end. On Saturday, we felt defeat in stoppage time. Today, we scored just before the end of the time, so we scored at the right moment,” he said in his post-match interviews with BBC, MUTV and in the press conference.

Erik ten Hag on Sofyan Amrabat’s new role

Due to the massive number of injuries United are suffering, particularly at the back, Sofyan Amrabat had to play in the FA Cup fixture as a floating left-back. With the ball, he used to play slightly down the middle – on occasions – and without the ball, he went back to the left-back role. Speaking about his performance, ten Hag said, “For Sofyan, he is not a full-back, but he played a solid game, especially I think after 55 minutes when he played in the middle [when we were] in possession. Then also, he understood what to do in the defending, in the rest defence, and from that moment on we took the control.”

The manager felt that his players took control of the game in the second half, as he went into detail to explain the tactical tweaks he made. “[In the] second half, after five or six minutes, we found the game, and then I think we were continually in their half, we take control of the game, we created also some chances. Before that, we have to make some changes, then you see the routines again fell away,” he stated.

The Dutchman added: “But once we have that control in the game and we make the double sixes [deep midfielders] and we are keeping the ball, passing the ball from one side to the other side, then we took the control. Before that also we had big chances in the first half, with Scott McTominay twice, with Marcus Rashford. But also, we allowed them to create some chances and there was of course the quality from Forest, they have very good counter-attacks, but we should avoid that.”

Ten Hag also showered praise on match-winner Casemiro and stated how much they missed him when he was out injured. “Absolutely, [Casemiro is an example] by leadership and he’s a fantastic football player. I think he’s scored so many goals for us. He scored more goals than he’s ever done in his whole career, for United, so that is great to have a player like Casemiro in the squad and in the team. Because you see how important he is for us when he is not there, like in October, November, December and January. We really missed him because he sets the structure in the team, his leadership, it makes us play better. Also, the quality he has on the ball, of course,” he explained.

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