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Erik ten Hag explains why Rasmus Hojlund was substituted early vs West Ham

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has revealed the reason behind Rasmus Hojlund’s early substitution against West Ham United in the Premier League.

The Denmark international was unable to score his maiden league goal for United earlier today and he was replaced by Marcus Rashford before the hour mark.

The decision did not please some of the fans. Speaking after the game, Ten Hag highlighted that Hojlund is a very strong character who can deal with stress.

The manager added that the Dane was ill during the week and he needed to protect him, considering there are two more matches before the New Year.

He told Manutd.com: “No. I think he’s a very strong character and he can deal with the stress. I took him off. He was ill during the week and so he had a little lack of power.”

“So, yeah, in that sense, I protected him. We have to play two more games this week. But we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. No one. And we have to take the responsibility.

“If you are playing for Manchester United you have to do it together, but everyone has to be accountable and take responsibility.”

Ten Hag made right decision with Hojlund

The €65 million-rated star had another difficult league outing for United, but he can’t be blamed. Alejandro Garnacho and Antony made just one successful pass to him.

The lack of service meant that Hojlund could not influence the game. Having just recovered from an illness, Ten Hag made the right decision to take him off the field.

With Anthony Martial on the sidelines, United need to keep Hojlund fit and healthy for the festive schedule. His fortunes should change sooner rather than later.

United face an in-form Aston Villa side at Old Trafford on Boxing Day. The fans will be hoping that Hojlund can end his long wait for a maiden Premier League goal.

The Red Devils have gone more than six hours without finding the back of the net and they must end the wretched run to keep their hopes alive of making the top four.

The gap to the final Champions League spot is already eight points and the club have no more room for setbacks. Tuesday’s game against Villa is a must win for them.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com