Erik ten Hag slams fixture schedule as Marcus Rashford limps out of Manchester United win

Marcus Rashford of Manchester United leaves the pitch with an injury during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford on April 8, 2023 in Manchester, United Kingdom.
(Image credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Erik ten Hag has called for greater protection for players, after Marcus Rashford was forced off injured during Manchester United's 2-0 win over Everton.

United's top scorer – who has bagged 28 goals in all competitions this season – hobbled off the pitch late in the second half, 10 minutes after setting up Anthony Martial's victory-sealing goal at Old Trafford.

Speaking to BT Sport after the game, Ten Hag took aim at the hectic fixture calendar he feels is putting too much strain on top-level players. The Dutchman said:

"We have to wait; [Rashford] doesn't look well. Once again, that is due to the schedule. It can't be that you play three games in six days; we have to protect our players."

See more

This Saturday lunchtime kick-off came less than 72 hours after United's last game: Wednesday's 1-0 home triumph against Brentford.

Ten Hag's side are in action twice in the space of four days again next week – they host Sevilla in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie on Thursday night, before travelling to Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.

Beating Everton cemented United's place in the top four of the Premier League: with nine matches to go, they sit three points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham – who they face later this month – having played a game less.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...