Gareth Southgate reviews England’s 2-0 win against Malta
Gareth Southgate was quick to ease Erik ten Hag’s fears after Marcus Rashford limped off during England’s win over Malta, with Andre Onana also suffering an injury of his own on Friday night. Rashford, who has scored just one goal for Manchester United this season, was replaced by Cole Palmer on the hour mark following a heavy collision with Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Rashford made a play for the ball on the edge of Malta’s box but was accidentally clattered by Alexander-Arnold, with both players staying down as they recovered from the impact. The United man was seen writhing on the floor in agony and was eventually hooked as Southgate decided against taking any unnecessary risks.
The England boss revealed after the final whistle that he expects Rashford to be fine but admitted that his condition was yet to be assessed, saying: “I think he [Rashford] is probably okay. We just thought given the nature of the collision and it was a chance to get Cole in to the game. I haven’t assessed too much but I think he was okay when he came off.”
United goalkeeper Onana was also injured while playing for Cameroon to compound Ten Hag’s injury woes before the return of Premier League football. The 27-year-old was substituted during the closing stages of his side’s win over Mauritius and looked to be in some discomfort as he was helped down the tunnel by physios.
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It remains to be seen whether Rashford and Onana will be fit to play against Everton when United travel to Goodison Park after the international break. The Red Devils are suffering an injury crisis at the moment, with several first-team players set to be on the treatment table for the foreseeable future.
The likes of Casemiro, Luke Shaw and Lisandro Martinez are currently out with long-term problems, while Rasmus Hojlund and Christian Eriksen were struck down with injuries of their own earlier this month. United will have a total of 12 injured players if Rashford and Onana are ruled out for any length of time, which would represent the second-highest tally in the Premier League.
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Ten Hag recently admitted that United’s growing injury list was a ‘concern’ but insisted that his squad was capable of getting results despite many of their current absentees being regular starters when fit.
“You have to deal with it and we always get the results, apart from the period we are in now,” said the United boss. “It’s a concern but that’s why we constructed the squad with depth, so we can deal with it. The squad can deal with it. Injuries always come in top football because we’re living on the edge and injuries are coming up.
“We analyse why things happen but we also have to deal with the facts and it’s always about the players available. We have a strong side and we have to get the best out of it.”
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