- Manager addressed Antony return
- Brazilian back in training from Saturday
- Does not believe it's a distraction
WHAT HAPPENED? The manager said he did not believe that bringing Antony back after facing serious allegations from three women would cause a distraction to his side, although he would not go into further detail beyond the statement United released explaining the decision. Antony was given a leave of absence on September 10 to deal with the allegations but returned to England this week and voluntarily attended a police interview. He will resume training on Saturday and will therefore not be facing Crystal Palace in United's next game. However, he could be in the squad to face Galatasaray in the Champions League on Tuesday.
WHAT THEY SAID: "I refer to the statement, everything has been made clear in the statement, I don't think it's a distraction," Ten Hag told a press conference on Friday. "We will focus on the games. He will do as well."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Antony's return comes as United face another injury crisis, above all in defence. Lisandro Martinez has been ruled out for around two months with a recurrence of the foot injury he suffered last April while Sergio Reguilon is also out with a light injury. The pair's problems mean United have a total of eight players sidelined at the moment, although they are boosted by the return of Christian Eriksen.
Ten Hag blamed the high number of injuries affecting United and other clubs on the increased number of fixtures. He said: "Every time the schedule is expanding, the load on the players is too much, it's such a great overload. Many colleagues of mine have pointed to that and I have pointed to that as well. But it keeps going. We keep expanding the schedule. Anywhere, it won't stop. Players can't deal anymore with this overload and I think that's what you say in this squad at the moment."
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WHAT NEXT FOR MAN UTD? The Red Devils face Crystal Palace at Old Trafford searching for their second consecutive Premier League win after last week's narrow 1-0 win at Burnley.