Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag hints at shock position change for Bruno Fernandes and Victor Lindelof in top-four race
MANCHESTER UNITED boss Erik ten Hag has hinted at potential position changes for Bruno Fernandes and Victor Lindelof.
The Red Devils cruised into the Carabao Cup final with a 5-0 win on aggregate against Nottingham Forest.
GettyErik ten Hag played two Man Utd stars in different positions against Nottingham Forest[/caption]
GettyBruno Fernandes was played on the right while substitute Jadon Sancho played centrally[/caption]
GettyVictor Lindelof played in defensive midfield[/caption]
But the game saw two first-team stars play in new positions.
Ten Hag replaced three attacking players after an hour, and on came Jadon Sancho, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford for Alejandro Garnacho, Wout Weghorst and Antony.
Instead of Sancho occupying the right flank, as he has done many times in his career, the England international operated centrally.
Interestingly, Fernandes was sent out wide to the right.
The Dutchman said on Fernandes: “It was one thought about, but also to bring a different dynamic in the team, I wanted to see how that works, we brought Bruno more times before in the wide position.
“I think it’s difficult to anticipate it when you first have to deal with Antony, then you bring a semi-wide player there, it’s difficult to anticipate, Bruno is really effective but I want to see the combination with Jadon and Anthony Martial, we’ve seen a different dynamic, that can help us and give us more opportunities in the future.”
Fernandes provided the goods as his outside of the foot pass found Fred for United’s second of the night.
The midfielder, who regularly captains the side in Harry Maguire’s absence, says he learned the skill from Ricardo Quaresma.
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And when Lindelof replaced Casemiro with ten minutes to go, the Swede playing in holding midfield.
But Ten Hag says Lindelof was trained there during his Benfica days.
On Lindelof, Ten Hag said: “He was educated as a six, a control, holding midfielder in Benfica, I know he can do that.
“We tried it in training, maybe one game, I want my centre halves in midfield positions so we create dynamics to construct more dynamic.”
Man Utd will play Newcastle at Wembley for the Carabao Cup on February 26.
But Fernandes is keen for United to not lose focus in their pursuit of a top-four finish.
Fernandes and Lindelof becoming familiar in new roles could help Ten Hag rotate his team better to maintain momentum.
Fernandes said: “Obviously it’s really good.
“For me it’s been three years in the cup, we reached one final and didn’t win that one unfortunately.
“But now we have another chance. But before that are a lot of games coming, we have to be prepared for that.”