‘Doesn’t belong on a pitch’ - Erik ten Hag’s scathing view of Andy Carroll tackle on Christian Eriksen

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The Dutchman was furious at the dangerous lunge from the Reading striker that has ruled the Manchester United star out until May.

Erik ten Hag has claimed Andy Carroll’s tackle on Christian Eriksen last week ‘doesn’t belong in football’ as the Manchester United manager gave a scathing assessment of the Reading striker on Tuesday.

It was Carroll’s scissor-like lunge on Eriksen that forced him to be withdrawn in the second half of the Red Devils’ 3-1 FA Cup on Saturday, with United revealing on Tuesday that their no.14 may not return to the team until May due to the severity of his injury. Carroll avoided punishment for the tackle on Eriksen, but two further rash challenges in the subsequent 10 minutes resulted in him being cautioned twice, in a desperate display at Old Trafford.

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And three days on from the incident, Ten Hag is still evidently furious with Carroll’s actions during the fourth-round tie.

“I am disappointed about that,” the United boss said ahead of his side’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Nottingham Forest. “Football has to set limits, restrictions, that you protect the players. What football wants is the best players being available on the pitch.

“This tackle, and the two tackles after, don’t belong on a pitch because there is a high risk to injure your colleague. I am wondering about [that].

“I am also wondering in Crystal Palace there is an elbow on [Lisandro] Martinez, and I don’t even know if there is a whistle for a free-kick, but no-one is interfering. I am wondering about such things because it is a risk of injury for the player.”

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Asked if he felt Carroll intentionally set out to injure one his players, Ten Hag replied: “I make my view about [it]. I think it was quite clear what my thoughts were.”

Eriksen’s injury comes in a month where it was revealed Donny van de Beek will miss the remainder of the campaign with a knee problem, while Ten Hag also said Scott McTominay is set to miss a short period with a muscular injury.

“Scott McTominay is not available for the coming week, two weeks, even longer,” he revealed. “So we have a challenge there. We have quality players there, that is obvious, but the depth is not there anymore. We as a team have to deal with that.”

The injuries leave United with just three senior, fit midfielders for Wednesday’s clash with Forest - Casemiro, Fred and Bruno Fernandes - although Marcel Sabitzer is expected to complete a deadline-day move from Bayern Munich.

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