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Erik ten Hag on crowd reaction after Rasmus Hojlund’s substitution vs Brighton

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has said that he was pleased with the crowd reaction after Rasmus Hojlund was substituted against Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Denmark international made his full debut at Old Trafford earlier today, and he almost scored the equaliser for United. The goal was denied by VAR after Marcus Rashford had taken the ball over the byline in the lead-up.

Hojlund did not get another opportunity to find the back of the net, but he mesmerised the club’s faithful with an impressive home debut. The 20-year-old striker was good with his hold-up and link-up play in the final third of the pitch.

Hojlund’s eventual substitution in the 64th minute was met with a chorus of boos from Old Trafford. Speaking after the game, Ten Hag took the reaction in a positive sense and said that it was very good that the crown embraced Hojlund’s showing.

The Dutchman added that he performed very well, but had to be brought off due to the lack of match fitness, having recently recovered from a back problem.

He told “I think it was very good that Hojlund, obviously the crowd embraced his first performance, his first performance at Old Trafford, which is very good, when you bring in a new player and he gets this reception.”

“Everyone is excited by it and I think he performed very well so we are happy. This is the next step, after his injury, he recovered from it. He has some deficiencies in fitness and we have to build that. But I think it was another big step.”

Hojlund joined United from Atalanta at the beginning of August, but had to wait until early September to make his debut after picking up a back injury in pre-season.

He only made a cameo appearance against Arsenal before the international break. For Denmark, he played less than 90 minutes of normal time across two matches.

Both United and Denmark were cautious over playing him for long. In our opinion, the manager did the right thing to substitute him shortly after the hour mark today.

Keeping Hojlund on the pitch was essential at the time, but United also need to look into the long-term. They can not risk the striker sustaining another potential setback.

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