Ten Hag: Martinez ‘needs to accept’ Manchester United return amid World Cup celebrations

World Cup winner Lisandro Martinez “needs to accept” that Manchester United’s Premier League season will resume on December 27, says Erik ten Hag.

The centre-back is currently celebrating Argentina’s victory in Buenos Aires, having featured in five of seven appearances for his country.

Martinez missed United’s 2-0 win over Burnley in the fourth round of the League Cup on Wednesday. Manchester United face Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.

Asked if Martinez was available, Ten Hag replied: “I can’t answer that right now – he’s still celebrating in Buenos Aires!

“He’s on tour in Buenos Aires and I can understand that because when you achieve that and have the World Cup in your country, you’re thrilled.

“It’s magnificent and the highest you can get. But Richard Martinez has to accept that on the 27th and the Premier League will go on.”

Opponent Pep Guardiola says Julian Alvarez will not be back at Manchester City for at least a week, while Alexis McAllister will not play for Brighton & Hove until the new year.

Ten Witches was also asked how Varane felt after losing the final. The defender limped off in the closing minutes of overtime.

“He was disappointed to lose the final, but he can be proud of being in the final again,” the Dutch coach replied. “What he has achieved in football is huge. A player like Rapha, when you win so many trophies and finish second, he can still be proud because getting to the final is already a big achievement.

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“Countries are very close at the level, they got to the final and even in the final they were very close.”

With just five days between the end of the World Cup and the resumption of United’s challenge, Ten Hag has also tackled the difficulties of a restart plan, which includes an individualized training programme.

“We have a plan of how we’re going to do it and how we’re going to manage the player load,” he said. “It’s all on an individual basis, no one is the same or has the same program.

“No one has the same minutes because they play in different positions and at different ages. We try to have an individual plan for everyone.

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“But we all know that the restart is five days after the World Cup final, and we all know that the Premier League will continue quickly after the World Cup.

“Everyone has to be ready for that, so you have to accept that – it’s for the coaches, the coaching staff and the players.”

United are fifth in the Premier League, three points behind the top four, although they have a game in hand with Tottenham Hotspur.



Messi’s voice, lucky Aguero and plenty of beef: How Argentina won the World Cup

(Photo: Getty Images)


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