Erik ten Hag wants greater protection for players after Manchester United midfielder Christian Eriksen was injured by an Andy Carroll tackle during their FA Cup fourth round victory on Saturday.
The Denmark international is set to miss the majority of the rest of the season after he was caught by the Reading forward during the Red Devils’ 3-1 win at Old Trafford.
Eriksen’s layoff is a major blow for the resurgent United, with the former Tottenham and Inter playmaker a central figure in their revival under Ten Hag.
Speaking ahead of his side’s EFL Cup semi-final second leg with Nottingham Forest on Wednesday, the Dutchman was critical of Carroll, but also stressed the need to police such challenges more stringently.
“I’m disappointed about that,” he said. “I think football has to set limits [and] restrictions to protect the players, What football wants is the best players being available on the pitch.
“This is a tackle, and the two tackles after, that doesn’t belong on the football pitch, because it’s a high risk [it will] injure your colleague.”
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Carroll was dismissed during the Royals’ defeat after consecutive yellow cards during the latter stages of the game, with Eriksen subsequently departing Old Trafford on crutches.
Asked if he felt the Reading man was trying to deliberately injure his players, Ten Hag added: “I think I made my view about it. I think it was quite clear what I think, what my thoughts were.”
While several of United’s Premier League rivals bolstered their January transfer window with high-profile deals, the club took a more low-key approach owing to financial frameworks, though were attempting to add Bayern Munich midfielder Marcel Sabitzer on loan on transfer deadline day.
Ten Hag previously acknowledged he had hoped for greater recruitment, but stressed he understands why United have operated the way they have in the market.
“I think as a manager, you’re always trying to find a way to make your team better,” he added. “I wouldn’t be a good manager, if I didn’t make the request.
“If there are opportunities, it is my job in the club to tell the club that there are opportunities to strengthen our squad and our time
“But it’s about financial frameworks, [with] what is acceptable, what is reasonable and what we need to fulfil our ambitions. We have to follow it though.”
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